India, April 7 -- UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore has called for simplifying intellectual property rights governing COVID-19 vaccines in order to make them universally available but expressed reservations about completely suspending the patents during the pandemic as demanded by India and South Africa.

She said on Tuesday, "This challenge requires not forced IP waivers but proactive partnership and cooperation."

"Simplify Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) through voluntary and proactive licensing by IPR holders" to meet vaccine demands amid threats coronavirus variants, she said.

Fore proposed a voluntary arrangement to expand vaccine manufacture and distribution and cited the cooperation between AstraZeneca and the Serum Ins...