German activists have urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to back international calls for lifting COVID-19 vaccine patents to speed up vaccine supply for the entire world.
Members of the rights group Campact staged a protest in front of the Chancellery on Tuesday and criticized Merkel’s opposition to waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.
The protesters held signs reading “Stop COVID-19: Vaccination for all,” “Waive vaccine patents, Ms. Merkel,” and “Free the vaccine - Save lives.”
Maria Kruskop, a Campact spokeswoman, told Anadolu Agency that waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines was extremely important to protect people from the virus.
“We can only stop this pandemic by scaling up production of vaccines globally, and this can only be possible by waiving intellectual property rights,” she said.
An online petition calling on Merkel to change her stance on COVID-19 vaccine patents has so far gathered nearly 95,000 signatures.
Merkel’s government has opposed calls for lifting coronavirus vaccine patents, arguing that intellectual property is a source of innovation and must be protected.
Merkel has also warned that removing patents could undermine the quality of the jabs.