175th Wing Airmen Receive COVID-19 Vaccine by Maryland National Guard https://flic.kr/p/2kvjBuz (CC BY-ND 2.0)

175th Wing Airmen Receive COVID-19 Vaccine by Maryland National Guard https://flic.kr/p/2kvjBuz (CC BY-ND 2.0)


The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 81: Why Isn’t Canada Supporting a Proposal to Help Developing Countries Gain Access to COVID-19 Vaccines?

As countries around the globe work to get their citizen vaccinated against COVID-19, a battle over intellectual property rules has emerged at the World Trade Organization. Last year, Canada passed legislation designed to ensure that patents would not pose a barrier to securing supplies of a vaccine or treatment. A year later, developing countries around the world have looked to the WTO to develop similar standards through a waiver process that would speed up access to, and production of, vaccines. Yet the proposal has run into opposition at the WTO, including from Canada.

Thiru Balasubramaniam is the Geneva Representative of Knowledge Ecology International, where he works on IP, health, and trade issues at the WTO, WIPO, and World Health Organization. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the recent developments at the WTO, the position of developed countries such as Canada, and what this means for global access to critical vaccines.

The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

Show Notes:

India and South Africa TRIPS Waiver Proposal

Government of Canada TRIPS Council Statement, February 2021


Al Jazeera English, Vaccine Patent Waiver Calls: 100 Countries Push for More Equitable Access


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  3. Thank you for telling us about this. Now, during the quarantine period and when the world economy is in one of the worst conditions, I understand that our country is not quite able to help someone else. After all, quarantine and covid hit all countries very hard, as well as ours. In general, it was very interesting to listen to you and the information that you bring up. I really hope that soon this whole story with the covid will simply end and will be part of our story. I hope that soon we will just remember those days and no longer have to impose such strict restrictions.

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