WTO chief: Vaccine waiver helpful, not key for virus fight

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Trade Organization says the U.S. administration’s call to remove patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines could help expand fair access to vaccines but might not be the most “critical issue.” WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s comments Friday came as officials in Europe increasingly insisted that more vaccine exports are the more pressing priority. Activists and humanitarian institutions cheered the American reversal in policy Wednesday and urged others to follow suit in order to remove the intellectual property protections on the COVID-19 vaccines. But some world have taken the U.S. to task for not sharing more vaccines.