For Oral Answer on : 11/05/2021
Question Number(s): 69 Question Reference(s): 24020/21
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the position of Ireland with regard to the Covid-19 technology access pool platform created to enable the sharing of intellectual property rights, data and other information to aid in the fight against Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department continues to support global efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the €50 million in Irish Aid funding to global health in 2021, €5 million is channeled to direct support to COVID-19 vaccination, including through COVAX. The COVAX mechanism is beginning to deliver results, with over 53 million vaccines already delivered to 121 participant countries.
The sharing of technology on vaccines, and also diagnostics and treatment, is an important part of a broader suite of responses to COVID-19. This issue touches on the work of a number of different Government Departments.
Ireland has consistently championed collaborative responses to the pandemic, with a focus on ensuring that the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are served by our collective effort. Ireland has shown support for sharing COVID-19 related knowledge and research outputs in a number of ways. This includes engagement in the National Open Research Forum, and the granting of non-exclusive royalty-free licenses through Knowledge Transfer Ireland. It also includes Science Foundation Ireland’s alignment with Plan S, an initiative to ensure publicly funded research is openly available, immediately, without embargo for the betterment of societal needs.
Officials in my Department continue to work with counterparts in other Departments, including the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, to give consideration to whether Ireland will join the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).