This paper analyzes the role of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and, more specifically, of patents during COVID times, with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry and COVID vaccines. In this paper, the author scrutinizes some proposals to quickly obtain access to affordable vaccines, such as the IP waiver and the use of compulsory licensing. This paper shows how IPR protection, and patents in particular, play a pivotal role in the fight against the virus. It also recommends that decision makers, industry, and academia focus on the insufficient R&D investment for the development of new medicines, the lack of production facilities and raw materials supply, and the loss of trust in science among some parts of the population, which might have led to the limited and slow supply of COVID vaccines, and which are not necessarily linked to IPRs. For each of these challenges, the author proposes a different solution.