Patentability of COVID-19 Vaccines


Zoë Haggerty

In many ways, the COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of society. National lockdowns, halted economies, and overburdened hospital systems have significantly exacerbated the obstacles faced by those already financially insecure. In light of these unique and widespread challenges, it is crucial that the marginalized members of society not be neglected as global and domestic health agencies push for efficient vaccine distribution. The implications of patenting COVID-19 vaccines are likely to disadvantage such members unless measures are taken to ensure the accessibility of such vaccines. This Essay explores the options of expanding or restricting the patentability of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the consequences of each, and concludes with a proposal that the Generic Open License model be adopted.

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