Grassroots “Vaccinate Our World” campaign actions continued this week as advocates conducted a protest and ‘die-in’ at the U.S. headquarters of COVID-19 vaccine producer Moderna in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Tuesday. Activists demanded that the drug company halt its ‘pandemic profiteering’ by lowering its exorbitant prices per dose and sharing vaccine patents to boost production globally.
There have been 4.5 million global COVID-19 deaths, and roughly 70% of the world’s population has yet to receive a single vaccine dose—yet Moderna is set to reap over $22 billion from vaccine sales in 2021 alone. The price for a single Moderna jab can cost as much as $37, while competitor AstraZeneca sells its doses for under $5, by comparison.
“Some of us in America are deciding whether or not we want to take our next shot – when most people worldwide haven’t even gotten their first shot,” said Tracy Jones, Senior Director & National Director of Mobilization Campaigns for AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). “It’s time to share the patents! It’s our responsibility to hold drug companies accountable and help the rest of the world get out of this pandemic.”
The demonstration at Moderna’s headquarters come two weeks after AHF and partner advocates held similar actions at Pfizer’s offices in New York City. The two vaccine makers are the leading producers of mRNA vaccines, with the companies collecting more than 90% of global COVID-19 vaccine revenues and having secured a combined $60 billion in vaccine sales just in 2021 and 2022.
“We’re never going to get out of the global pandemic if these [drug] companies don’t start sharing vaccines and supporting other countries around the world to get everybody vaccinated,” added AHF Senior Regional Director Marlene Lalota. “Generations will judge these companies by their actions. Today is the day – lower the price, lower the profits, share the patents!”
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