Coronavirus live news: India offers vaccination to all adults as country nears 20m cases
US to discuss Covid vaccine IP with World Trade Organization; Chinese tourists expected to make 18.3 million railway trips on labor day; all adults in India eligible for vaccines
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The White House says the US trade representative will begin talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping critically needed Covid vaccines from being more widely distributed.
The White House has been under intense pressure to join an effort to help waive patent rules for the vaccines so that poorer countries can begin to make their own generic versions.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will be starting talks “on how we can get this vaccine more widely distributed, more widely licensed, more widely shared.”
Klain and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the administration would have more to say on the matter in the coming days.
India has opened vaccinations to all adults in hopes of taming a monstrous spike in Covid infections.
The world’s largest maker of vaccines is still short of critical supplies — the result of lagging manufacturing and raw material shortages. Those factors delayed the rollout in several states.
Only a fraction of India’s population likely can afford the prices charged by private hospitals for the shot. That means states and the federal government will be in charge of immunising 900 million Indian adults.
India’s case total stands at 19.57m according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 215,542 deaths recorded. We should have Monday’s daily figures shortly.