Ursula von der Leyen has said the bloc is ready to hold talks over a US-backed proposal to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines. The Commission had been resisting such calls for months.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that the bloc was ready to discuss a proposal to waive patents on COVID-19 vaccines, stressing that Europe’s priority would be to “ramp up” global supplies.

“The European Union is also ready to discuss any proposal that addresses the crisis in an effective and pragmatic manner,” she told an online conference. “And that’s why we are ready to discuss how the US proposal for a waiver on intellectual property protection for covered vaccines could help achieve that objective.”

However, von der Leyen said that the bloc’s top priority was still to “ramp up production to achieve global vaccination.”

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