Nairobi, 17 March, 2022 / 2:24 pm (ACI Africa).
Members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Africa have welcomed the provisional deal to waive patent rights for COVID-19 vaccines, describing it as one of the first steps towards achieving social justice.
On Tuesday, March 15, the European Union (EU), India, South Africa, and the United States of America (USA) reportedly reached a compromise on the intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.
The agreement to waive the patent rights, however, needs the support of all 164 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) before taking effect.
“This welcome compromise for local vaccine production is a first step in taking action for social justice and, as the Holy Father Pope Francis has repeatedly said, informed by compassion for our shared humanity, putting people above profits and nations before corporations,” the Director of the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network – Africa (JENA), a department of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM), says in a report ACI Africa obtained.
Fr. Charles Chilufya says if agreed upon, the waiver “will partially redress the regrettable hitherto complete lack of humanity and immense moral failure that JENA and partners have advocated against.”