PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron is joining the Biden administration in saying that he backs the sharing of the valuable technology behind COVID-19 vaccines. But Macro is also insisting that the immediate priority for wealthier countries should be first donating more doses to poorer countries.
Speaking on a visit Thursday to a vaccine center, the French leader said he “completely” supports opening up intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Macron said that “evidently, we must turn this vaccine in a global public good.”
But he also argued that even if patents are waived, pharmaceutical companies in places like Africa aren’t currently equipped to make COVID-19 vaccines and that donations of doses should be prioritized instead.
Macron claimed that the European Union is leading the way in vaccine donations and called for the United States and Britain to share more, too.
He said that “Europe is the most generous continent with the rest of the world,” having exported 45 million doses, and expressed hope that “the British, the Americans and others will follow.”
He added that, “in the short term, this is what will allow us to vaccinate.”