EFEBuenos Aires

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called here Wednesday for Covid-19 vaccine patent protections to be waived so those life-saving jabs can be more quickly distributed to people in poorer countries.

"From a multilateral point of view, Argentina and Spain are calling for the lifting of patent protections for vaccines, for them to be considered a global public good and consequently for their distribution to be expedited," Sanchez said in a joint press conference with Fernandez during an official visit to Buenos Aires.

He also called for a global increase in Covid-19 vaccine production capacity with a view to inoculating populations everywhere and bringing the pandemic to an end.

"It's of great concern to us that 90 percent of the vaccines that have been produced are in the hands of 10 percent of the countries, and we think there's great inequity" there, Fernandez said for his part.

Developing nations have been calling for a temporary waiving of Covid-19 vaccine intellectual property rights and have received support from the United States and China, but the European Union as a whole says lack of manufacturing capacity is the problem and opposes the suspension of patents.