WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visitng Afrigen's facility in Cape Town, where researchers are working on replicating Moderna's shot (Shelley Christians/Reuters via Alamy)

Mod­er­na’s new patent pol­i­cy is a mixed bless­ing for WHO ef­fort to repli­cate com­pa­ny's vac­cine

Mod­er­na’s an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day of a new patent en­force­ment pol­i­cy was glob­al, but it had its most im­me­di­ate im­pact on one small cor­ner of the globe.

For the last year, a WHO-con­tract­ed com­pa­ny in Cape Town, South Africa has worked to re­verse-en­gi­neer and repli­cate Mod­er­na’s Covid-19 vac­cine. It was one step in an ef­fort to make the shot, which has large­ly gone to rich coun­tries, broad­ly avail­able, and to help low- and mid­dle-in­come na­tions ac­cess mR­NA tech­nol­o­gy that can be de­ployed against oth­er pathogens and fu­ture out­breaks.

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