While the US President expressed his willingness to waive patent on COVID vaccines, the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is not happy with the move, particularly reaching the vaccine formula to the developing countries.
Billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is said to have suggested against handing over vaccine formula to developing countries, including India, anticipating compromise in the quality of the vaccines.
Gates has been criticised globally since he had expressed his view against handing over vaccines recipes to developing nations on Sky News during an interview. Many termed his view as racial.
The business mogul has now been portrayed by world media as a billionaire who prefers money over humanity subsequent to his controversial response tarnished his image as a well-known philanthropist.
The world frowned at how the so-celebrated philanthropist categorically refused to share the patents even though the developing countries still stand far behind the developed countries in administering the vaccination. Such a gap fuelled the collapse of the global economy, which has already been affected severely.
Gates' stand constitutes a heavy blow to India where the nation experiences a human calamity due to widespread pandemic cases. With the World Trade Organization (WTO) stating that India itself reported nearly half the coronavirus cases reported worldwide, the Republic is overwhelmed with heavy loss of lives in absence of adequate oxygen and medical facilities.
Several countries came forward with their support by means of medical essentials such as oxygen, medicines. Some tycoons even promised hospital beds as the surge forced a public health crisis. India has 3.45 million active cases and forecasts a possible third wave, given that the lion share of the Indian population remains 'unimmunized'.
Gates stated his view that technology transferral would not be very effective without the "grants" and "expertise" that the United States possesses.
Well, to contradict, around 90 million doses a month, if resources are available, alone can be produced by India's two main vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, with the Indian government guaranteeing $400Mn and $210Mn to each, respectively, for advancing the production.
Last year, India and South Africa asked WTO to issue a waiver to avail and manufacture lower-cost medical products for low-income countries, which is still not approved.
The US also remained not committed to the idea, however, in a recent turn of events, the U.S. government on Wednesday agreed to support a temporary global waiver on patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines in a bid to increase global supplies, especially to poor nations.