First Pfizer and now Moderna announce the development of coronavirus vaccine which is effective but will it be free and available to all? The good thing about Moderna's is that the vaccine can be stored in a regular refrigerator for a month—as opposed to Pfizer which needs special low, low temp cooling.
Much of Moderna's doses have already been claimed by wealthy countries. According to Global Justice Now, 780 million doses have been sold to rich governments, or 78% of the billion doses the company says it can produce by the end up next year.
Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, explained, "Moderna's is predicted to be the most expensive potential vaccine on the market, at around $35 a dose, even though it has been made with vast public support. The U.S. government has spent over $1 billion in direct support alone. What's more, well over 78% of what Moderna is likely to produce has already been sold to very wealthy countries." Dearden went on to say, "We appreciate that Moderna has said it won't enforce patents as long the pandemic continues, but this alone is not sufficient to ensure this vaccine benefits humanity. This is truly a taxpayer funded vaccine and should be placed in the public sphere through the World Health Organization so the whole world can benefit."
Amnesty International detailed in a statement that the United States has paid for 100 million doses from Moderna, with an option of 500 million more, while Canada has ordered 56 million, Japan has ordered 50 million, and the European Commission completed talks with the company for up to 160 million.
"Having already sold most of its potential 2021 vaccine supply to rich countries, Moderna must follow through on its promise to allow others to make the vaccine, and provide the knowledge and technology to do so, once the vaccine has proven to be safe and effective," declared Stephen Cockburn, head of Amnesty's Economic and Social Justice Program. Cockburn argued that "companies like Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have a responsibility to respect human rights, and they should play a leading role towards a global solution to Covid-19 by sharing and ensuring affordable prices. They must not act in a way that allows governments to hoard vaccines for a privileged few. "We can only put an end to Covid-19 if companies ensure that those most in need of life-saving vaccines are not left behind..."
Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines program, put it : "This is the people's vaccine. The NIH's vaccine. It is not merely Moderna's vaccine. Federal scientists helped invent it and taxpayers are funding its development. We all have played a role. It should belong to humanity."
No more profit before people.