Wto Agreement with India

On July 31, 2021, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced a landmark agreement with India to increase global COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution. This agreement marks a significant opportunity for India to increase its participation in the global vaccine supply chain and improve access to vaccines for developing countries.

Under the agreement, India will support the production and supply of vaccines to low- and middle-income countries through the COVAX facility, which aims to ensure equitable global access to vaccines. Additionally, India will expand its own vaccine production capacity and prioritize the supply of vaccines to COVAX.

This agreement is a positive step towards addressing the unequal distribution of vaccines between wealthy and developing countries, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of August 2021, high-income countries have administered nearly 100 doses of vaccine per 100 people, while low-income countries have only administered 2 doses per 100 people.

India is a key player in the global vaccine supply chain, with the Serum Institute of India (SII) being the world`s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume. SII is currently producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield, which is being used in many countries, including India and the UK.

However, the surge of COVID-19 cases in India earlier this year led to a temporary halt in vaccine exports, causing delays in the delivery of vaccines to developing countries. This agreement with the WTO will provide a framework for India to resume vaccine exports while prioritizing the needs of low-income countries.

The agreement also highlights the importance of intellectual property rights in vaccine production and distribution. India has long been a vocal proponent of waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines to increase global access. The agreement acknowledges the role of intellectual property in vaccine production while also emphasizing the need for collaboration and technology transfer to increase vaccine production capacity.

Overall, the WTO agreement with India is a significant step towards increasing global access to COVID-19 vaccines and addressing the unequal distribution of vaccines between wealthy and developing countries. It highlights the importance of collaboration and technology transfer in vaccine production and distribution and provides a framework for countries to work together towards a more equitable world.