“The vaccine built and discovered by pharmaceutical companies was not exclusively with private money. It was with money from all of us. All states contributed a large part of the funding so that these vaccines could exist today and could be administered to the population,” said Ana Rita Cavaco, during a visit to a vaccination centre in Coimbra.
For the president, “it made perfect sense to move forward with the lifting of patents”, stressing that this measure could be essential for the poorest countries.
“If the richest do not help the poorest to have access to vaccines, we will have an even greater gap between those who have access to health and access to certain medicines and those who do not and we will assist, as is already happening in countries where vaccines are not being administered because of the money, in costing lives”, she stressed.
For Ana Rita Cavaco, the Portuguese Government should have a clear and “strong” stance on this issue and not have a “hand outstretched” policy, which she considers that also happened with the negotiation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).
Although European politicians such as the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, or the French President, Emmanuel Macron, have shown themselves available to debate the proposal, the German government has already opposed the idea, pointing out that “the limiting factor in manufacturing of vaccines is production capacity and high quality standards, not patents”.
Prime Minister, António Costa, has said he considers it “unjust” that Germany is being blamed for the position of the European Union vis-à-vis the lifting of Covid-19 vaccine patents, stressing that the majority of Member States members follow the same line.