Swadeshi Jagaran Manch demands patent waiver for Covid vaccines

RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) on Sunday demanded that patents on Covid-19 vaccines be waived.

Ranjit Karthikeyan, Kerala state convenor of SJM, said in a statement that several countries including India and South Africa had demanded removal of patents in the production of Covid vaccine and so this is the time to act.

He said that the webinar organised by the Kerala unit of the SJM saw huge participation and had facilities for people to vent their opinion in the platform.

Karthikeyan said that the idea was to put pressure regarding providing the vaccine technical knowhow without any patent threads to all the countries irrespective of the status of whether they are poor, underdeveloped or developing nations.

The SJM convenor said that India and South Africa had in October 2020 petitioned the World Health Organisation that the patent for the Covid-19 vaccine be removed and 57 countries in the world had pledged support.

He said that speakers in the webinar deliberated that the WHO could not take a concrete decision on removal of the patent due to the stiff resistance of the powerful lobby of global vaccine manufacturing companies.

Karthikeyan said that the webinar is the first of several agitations and campaigns that the organization will be conducting in the days to come against the continuance of Covid -19 vaccine patent.