The EU is ready to discuss overriding patents on corona vaccines, the European Commission says.

This applies to "anything that can combat the crisis in an effective and pragmatic way", President Ursula von der Leyen assured Thursday.

Vaccine manufacturers have the right to make and sell their own vaccines in the first few years, but that right is under pressure now that far too few corona vaccines are being made to be able to vaccinate the world quickly.

The United States went over on Wednesday and is now advocating the release of the patents.

As a result, factories in developing countries, for example, could also start producing vaccines, perhaps for a lower price.

Von der Leyen is "ready" to talk about it, said the President of the European Commission on Thursday in a speech in Florence, Italy.

The US has already underlined that it wants to find agreement within the world trade organization WTO.

The EU has so far held back, because pushing aside the patents would not help or even backfire.

That became more difficult to sustain because of the US turn.

The Union invariably boasts of exporting millions of vaccines to other countries, other than the United States and the United Kingdom, for example.

Von der Leyen reiterated on Thursday that increasing the global supply of vaccines is paramount. She compared the EU, which had slowed down on vaccinations but in the meantime shared vaccines with the whole world, favorably with countries "who kept their vaccines to themselves".