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More than 300 doctors have signed a petition calling for the Irish Government to support the TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver. The TRIPS waiver is a motion put to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to temporarily waive intellectual property rights for health technologies needed to prevent, contain, or treat Covid-19. The Irish group Doctors for Vaccine Equity is running an online petition in support of the waiver, as well as an “urgent” global redistribution of current vaccine supplies.
One of the founding members of the group, Dr Christine Kelly, SpR in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Fellow in Public Health Virology, told the Medical Independent (MI) “the US supports the TRIPS waiver, but unfortunately the EU has not joined them. We strongly believe that Ireland must advocate for the support of the TRIPS waiver at EU level.” On the TRIPS waiver, a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told MI that “Ireland supports the EU commitment to an open dialogue with all WTO members to explore how to support universal and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, while also focusing on initiatives to facilitate broad industry cooperation to build production capacity, based on transfers of technology and know-how through voluntary licensing agreements”