CALLS for the UK to 'follow suit' on Joe Biden's support for waiving the intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines to save lives have begun.

Layla Moran, the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon made the call in her role as the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the APPG heard suggestions from experts for how to safely reopen travel links between different countries.

Behavioural psychologist Professor Stephen Reicher suggested vaccine waivers may be part of the solution for getting everyone in the world vaccinated to restart global travel.

He said: "If there is one thing we could do in terms of the global pandemic it is to waive patent rights because there is capacity around the world to manufacture vaccines but people can’t because they are not allowed to.

"It is not simply a matter of redistributing the vaccine, we cannot produce enough, but that is ridiculous then to leave those factories lying empty."

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He added: "In many ways that is a vast scandal because millions of people are going to die for lack of the vaccine."

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced it would back a waiver on Covid vaccine patents to boost supply around the world.

The idea of waiving vaccine patents is being discussed in light of the second wave of the virus in India, where 15,000 people have died of the virus in the last week alone.

However, waiving a patent alone would not be enough to allow a company to start producing a Covid vaccines, as they would also need the proper technology and process to manufacture it.

This is often described as 'technology transfer'.

Oxford University, which owns the intellectual property to its vaccine, has partnered with AstraZeneca to distribute the jab.

The vaccine is sold at cost, and AZ already works with different manufacturers around the world to mass produce it.

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Oxford MP Ms Moran said: “Joe Biden announcing his support for a patent waiver, especially given what we heard at the APPG this week, was a really significant moment. It’s no silver bullet and won’t solve the immediate issues.

"But in the medium and long term this and improved technology transfer could save millions of lives.

"The UK should start showing leadership and follow suit."

She added: “Oxford AstraZeneca’s partnership has been an excellent and inspiring example of how researchers and the private sector have worked together to lower the cost of vaccines and help millions in developing countries. We need to see more of that approach, and it’s something the APPG will be following.”

Neither Oxford University or AstraZeneca commented when asked about the practicalities of waiving vaccine patents.