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Switzerland says US announcement on COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver leaves questions

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The Swiss government said on Thursday a US announcement to support waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines was a significant announcement but left many questions unanswered.

“This is an important announcement by the US, but many questions remain unanswered about the specific solutions it is considering in this context,” the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said in an emailed statement.

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SECO said Switzerland was still convinced that waiving intellectual property rights in the context of the pandemic could not guarantee fair, affordable and rapid access to vaccines, drugs and diagnostic products against COVID-19.

It said Switzerland would examine this new US request and its consequences on the Swiss position, with the United States itself and within the World Trade Organization.

Read more: EU official warns of risks of disjointed COVID-19 vaccine records