Former World Bank chief economist Josef Stiglitz is calling on the federal government to temporarily lift the patent for the coronavirus vaccine developed in Germany, because its rigid stance holds the whole world hostage.
"The deliberately complicated network of patents, copyrights and business secrets must be abolished. "This is necessary in order to increase the production of vaccines, to be able to adequately protect the world's population and to stop the spread of the virus, especially in the poorest countries," Stiglitz wrote in an article published in the weekly newspaper. Die Zeit ».
"Most industrialized nations have long agreed to make an exception for the vaccine. But it is the German government in particular, led by Chancellor Merkel, that opposes a solution. The financial cost of this headache will be huge, not to mention the loss of life. "With its rigid position, Germany is on the wrong side of history and is essentially taking the whole world hostage."
On the issue of removing patents for coronavirus vaccines, the discussion focused mainly on the companies of the most sought after mRNA vaccines, including the German company Biontech. While US President Joe Biden is in favor of lifting, the German federal government is in favor of supplying ready-made vaccines to the poorest countries.
"The claim that developing countries do not have the capacity to produce coronavirus vaccines contains completely racist and neo-colonial allusions. Germany needs to reconsider its position quickly. "Especially because the German chancellor is in danger today of undermining her good global reputation and perhaps even her political legacy in the last phase of her 16-year term," Stiglitz also wrote in the Hamburg newspaper.
The G7 countries decided this week to distribute 2,3 billion doses of the vaccine to poorer countries by the end of next year. Given the fact that the world population is eight billion people, some experts, including Joseph Stiglitz, consider that number to be insufficient.
That is why the eminent economist concludes in his article: "Until the German side changes its position, the pandemic will rage uncontrollably."