TRIPS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

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The technical symposium on “COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and regulatory transparency” is a follow-up to the WTO-organized meeting on “COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity: What Can the WTO Contribute?” held on 14 April. On that occasion, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called on WTO members, vaccine manufacturers and international organizations to address trade-related obstacles to COVID-19 vaccine production scale-up in order to hasten the end of the pandemic and accelerate global economic recovery.

Speaking to G20 leaders and the heads of international organizations on 21 May, DG Okonjo-Iweala also stressed the key role WTO members can play in fostering greater equity in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by lowering supply chain barriers, fully using existing production capacity, and addressing issues related to intellectual property, access and innovation.

Mapping vaccine manufacturing and trade as well as cross-border movement of vaccine inputs will feature in the discussions of the symposium. Participants will look at the latest projections on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing output, the impact of supply chain mapping exercises and possible policy responses to supply chain bottlenecks as reported by vaccine producers. They will also discuss what can be done to improve the monitoring and facilitation of cross-border movement of vaccine inputs.

The symposium will include a session on promoting transparency and convergence in the regulatory landscape, with an emphasis on how transparency in the regulatory approval process can be strengthened and on how international cooperation can contribute to manufacturing, approving and disseminating vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. The final session will look beyond vaccines and encompass a wider spectrum of health technologies, including diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as other medical products.

The programme of the event is available here.

Delegates from WTO members and observers have been invited to register up to five participants here.

The live webcast will be available on the WTO YouTube Channel.

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