Covid-19: more than 80 Portuguese personalities claim “catastrophe” and ask for patent break to increase vaccine production

More than 80 personalities of Portuguese society launched this Thursday a public appeal for vaccines against covid-19 to be considered a good of common interest and for Europe not to subject this process to market laws.

In the ‘manifesto’ to which Lusa had access – which has the former president of Infarmed, José Aranda da Silva, as the main driver and underwriters as diverse as former presidential candidates Ana Gomes and Marisa Matias, the former director General of Health, Constantino Sakellarides, or Bishop Januário Torgal Ferreira -, warns of the urgent need to increase the speed of the vaccination process at European level.

“It is incomprehensible the lack of vaccines observed today in Portugal and in Europe, which placed European citizens in a subordinate situation in relation to vaccine producers. The arguments put forward by the European Commission regarding the nature of the contracts, the existing production capacity and the agreed prices are not acceptable “, says the appeal.

Marking the nearly three million deaths due to covid-19, this initiative requires a different stance from the European Commission to “demonstrate fully and definitively its ability to overcome financial and industrial interests” with pharmaceutical companies, in addition to recalling the legal possibilities at the time. have the Community institutions.

“In cases classified as ‘catastrophe’, European and national legislation allows Member States to invoke” reasons of public interest “and” paramount importance for public health or national defense “to adopt measures that compel production vaccines in places other than the factories that hold the patent “, can be read in the note.

Subscribers to the message also fail to make clear the role of Portugal in this process at the international level, due to the rotating presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2021, noting that “it is urgent that Portuguese citizens take a firm position on a matter so significant for the present and future of Europeans “.

“In the face of the catastrophe that we are experiencing, and in view of the tragic insufficiency of the European response, citizens call for urgent measures to be taken that are capable of protecting the health of the people. These measures require the transparent sharing of information, the use of legislation that was foreseen for catastrophe situations and the mobilization of resources and productive capacities “, defends the appeal.

Thus, these Portuguese personalities reiterate that “now is the time for the European Commission to publish the vaccine production sites existing in the Union” and to “invoke the European legislation on industrial property to allow production in factories of different laboratories”, in the sense to ensure that the population is vaccinated by summer.

The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,874,984 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 132.3 million cases of infection, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

In Portugal, 16,890 people died from 825,031 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.

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