G7 foreign ministers say will work to expand COVID-19 vaccine production

FILE PHOTO: The word “COVID-19” is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) – The Group of Seven foreign ministers pledged on Wednesday to work with industry to expand the production of affordable COVID-19 vaccines, but stopped short of calling for a waiver of intellectual property rights of the pharma firms.

“We commit to working with  industry  to facilitate expanded manufacturing at scale of affordable COVID-19  vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics and their component parts,” the G7 foreign ministers said in a joint statement after a meeting in London.

The ministers said the work would include “promoting partnerships between companies, and  encouraging voluntary licensing and tech transfer agreements on mutually agreed terms”.

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