The Africa Unions health watchdog has hailed the United States support for a waiver on patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. This comes a day after Biden’s Administration announced that it supports lifting intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, potentially allowing more countries to produce them for easier and broader access. Following the move, experts say, it will spur production of low-cost generic vaccines, helping poor countries that are struggling to immunise their people. On the other hand, opponents argue that it will damage intellectual property rights and erode the profit incentive, ultimately affecting pharmaceutical research and development. History will remember the move taken by the US government as doing the right thing at the right time to fight a terrible challenge which is unprecedented in our contemporary history, said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), during a press conference on Friday. According to Nkengasong, the move is a remarkable expression of leadership and a step in the right direction. EU ‘ready’ for discussion As part of the efforts to support the US decision, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on Thursday announced that the bloc was ready to discuss a proposal to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines. The European Union is also ready to discuss any proposal that addresses the crisis in an effective and pragmatic manner, she said, And thats why we are ready to discuss how the US proposal for a waiver on intellectual property protection for covered vaccines could help achieve that objective. “A waiver of patents for Covid-19 vaccines and medicines could change the game for Africa. Unlocking millions of more vaccine doses and saving countless lives,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organisations Regional Director for Africa.