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Not Involved

An initiative to train pharmaceutical manufacturers in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to make SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has languished, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It adds Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada came up with the idea for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Technology Access Pool in the early days of the pandemic as a means of enabling quick, global vaccine production. But the LA Times says the effort was largely stymied by vaccine developers that wanted to protect trade secrets surrounding their mRNA vaccine technology and did not participate in the effort.

"The sole reason these vaccines aren't being produced widely by other makers is because these companies don't want to give up their monopoly," Matthew Kavanagh from Georgetown's O'Neill Institute tells the LA Times.

The LA Times adds, though, that there is increasing pressure on the Biden Administration in the US to boost global vaccine production, possibly through a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights. The paper also notes that as the US government funded mRNA research and holds a key patent, it could insist the companies cooperate.

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