Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Politics
Prognosis

South Africa’s Spats With J&J, Pfizer Mask Patent Concerns

  • Country’s supplies slowed by contract demands from J&J, Pfizer
  • South Africa, India have sought waivers on WTO rules
A worker administers the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at a hospital in Soweto. 

A worker administers the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at a hospital in Soweto. 

Photographer: Emmanuel Croset/AFP/Getty Images

Pharmaceutical companies supplying South Africa with Covid-19 vaccines are pressing the country to stop trying to loosen patent protections related to the inoculations, a person familiar with the situation said.

South Africa and India are calling for a broad waiver of World Trade Organization rules on the production and export of vaccines and other medical goods needed to combat the coronavirus, a move that could increase access to treatment for developing nations.