• The White House is weighing whether to temporarily lift intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
  • The move would allow other countries to replicate existing vaccines.
  • Concerns have grown about the fact that the U.S. and a handful of other wealthy countries hold the right to a disproportionate amount of the global supply.
Vials of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.

The White House is weighing whether to suspend intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, in response to pressure from developing nations and subsequent support from progressive lawmakers, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

A temporary suspension of intellectual property protections would apply to all medical technologies to treat or prevent Covid-19. South Africa and India made a formal request to the World Trade Organization to waive the protections until the pandemic is over, but the issue was tabled without a resolution.