Canada, European Union member nations, the United Kingdom, and other wealthy countries remain opposed to the waiver, leaving the chances of consensus approval at the World Trade Organization highly uncertain.
Nevertheless, the Biden administration's support for the waiver spooked investors and infuriated the pharmaceutical industry, which has been lobbying hard against the proposal in an effort to preserve its immensely profitable monopoly control over vaccine production.
"Cry no tears for these death profiteers," environmentalist and author Naomi Klein tweeted in response to a CNBC graphic showing the major sell-off of pharma shares on Wednesday.
Pfizer, Biontech, Novavax, Moderna shares plunge to session lows after U.S. backs waiving patent protections on Covid vaccines https://t.co/Wq9i3OsP1j pic.twitter.com/gEPwFw4yOg — CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 5, 2021.
"Shares in the big makers of Covid-19 vaccines were hit by the announcement," FT noted.
Moderna and Novavax closed down by between 3 percent and 6 percent in New York the day before.".
"No one should have gotten wealthy off of these vaccines," Gunnels added. »