Pfizer, Moderna shares plummet after Biden administration backs a COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver

·1 min read

The United States will advocate for waiving COVID-19 vaccine patent protections in discussions with the World Trade Organization, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced Wednesday.

The Biden administration "believes strongly in intellectual property protections," Tai said in a statement, but the White House will back the waiver given the "extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic." The administration has faced pressure to support the measure, which is aimed at increasing vaccinations around the world — especially in countries experiencing a surge in infections, like India — without having to rely solely on exports.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Proponents were pleased with the news, but shortly after Tai's announcement, stocks of pharmaceutical companies that have produced vaccines, including Moderna and Pfizer, plummeted.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

It remains unclear if the protections will actually be waived since all 164 members of the WTO will need to agree on the matter, but backing from the U.S. should certainly move the needle.

More stories from theweek.com
5 brutally funny cartoons about the GOP's shunning of Liz Cheney
Conservatives say McConnell is battling the Democrats' voting rights bill with 'Supreme Court fight' fervor
Liz Cheney's heresy

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting