Ramaphosa to lobby for temporary waiver on vaccine property rights at G7 meeting

The group of the world's wealthiest nations is meeting in the UK this week.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa will use the G7 Summit to lobby for a temporary waiver on property rights to ensure equitable access to COVID-29 vaccines.

The group of the world's wealthiest nations is meeting in the UK this week. The global response to the pandemic tops the agenda.

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that countries like South Africa must be able to manufacture their own vaccines. She said that President Cyril Ramaphosa would make that message very clear when he met with world leaders.

"South Africa will also use the G7 Leaders' Summit to further lobby for a temporary waiver of the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights at the World Trade Organisation to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This will enable countries to manufacture their own vaccines and pave the way for the development of a local pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in our country and on the continent," she said.

His call also followed that of US President Joe Biden, who came out in favour of a World Trade Organization proposal that would waive certain intellectual property protections around COVID-19 vaccines.

South Africa already has one vaccination manufacturing plant in Gqeberha, which is expected to produce millions of Johnson & Johnson doses.

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