Vaccine developers should share their patents - Polish PM

Leszek Szymański/PAP

During a Friday video conference of the European Council, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suggested the pharmaceutical companies that developed the Covid-19 vaccines share their patents with companies that could start production quickly.

EU leaders met via videoconference to discuss the current situation with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparations in dealing with health emergencies.

"The epidemiological situation remains serious, and the new variants pose additional challenges. We must therefore uphold tight restrictions while stepping up efforts to accelerate the provision of vaccines," reads a statement of the members of the European Council

"Delays and problems with the delivery of vaccines pose a risk for a full recovery and a quick return to normality," Morawiecki told EU leaders, as cited on the Prime Minister's Office website.

The Polish prime minister proposed "that pharmaceutical companies that developed vaccines owing to the involvement of large public funds, including funds from European taxpayers, should share their patents with other companies that have available production lines and can quickly start producing vaccines", the Prime Minister's Office wrote.

It added that Morawiecki had for weeks been calling on the European Commission to increase efforts to meet vaccine delivery dates and to continue talks with manufacturers to increase supplies to EU countries.