VAX Advocates to Stage ‘Murderna’ Street Theater Protest Thursday (11/18)

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea

Thursday noon PROTEST at Cambridge HQ to include skeletons, coffins, hazmat suits and more

 

CEO Stéphane Bancel nabbed $59M after Moderna’s 2019 IPO and landed a $13M salary in 2020 while much of the world remains desperate for access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines; Advocacy includes daily sidewalk protests, a television spot and a mailer targeting Bancel as a ‘pandemic profiteer’ being mailed to his Beacon Hill neighbors

 

 

CAMBRIDGE, MA (NOVEMBER 17, 2021) After staging nearly two weeks of daily protests and activations targeting Moderna, maker of a key mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, at its Cambridge, MA headquarters, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and other organizations will step up their global vaccine advocacy actions on Thursday, November 18 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) with a street theater protest featuring a variety of elements including skeletons, hazmat suits, cardboard coffins, money bags and more.

The advocates are protesting Moderna and its CEO, Stéphane Bancel over the biotech company’s unwillingness to share its lifesaving vaccine more equitably with those in need around the world. The groups have rebranded the company logo as “Murderna.”

In addition to the protests, a postcard mailer headlined “Did You Know Your Neighbor is a Greedy Pandemic Profiteer?” will be mailed to residents in select zip codes in CEO Bancel’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and a cable and broadcast TV spot that will air on Boston area CNN and MSNBC stations. (Bancel TV spot link)

WHAT: Vaccinate our World (VOW) Protests at Moderna’s World HQ in Cambridge
WHEN: 2 remaining MODERNA CAMBRIDGE PROTEST(S) –

·       Thursday, Nov. 18 at 12:00 p.m. ET    STREET THEATER PROTEST

·       (also) Friday Nov. 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: 200 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139
WHO: Approximately 15 to 20 community advocates, including AHF and partner organizations
NEWS DESK NOTE &  B-ROLL VISUALS On various days, sidewalk protest actions to include picket lines in front of Moderna’s headquarters; street theater with skeletons, hazmat suits, cardboard coffins, 3-foot globe balloons, money bags, and more.

 

According to the Boston Globe, Moderna’s stock plunged two weeks ago after Wall Street reacted to news that its vaccine sales totals will not be as gargantuan as expected: as much as $5 billion less than initially forecast. Last month, a damning front-page New York Times article (Moderna, Racing for Profits, Keeps Covid Vaccine Out of Reach of Poor) traced Moderna’s meteoric monetary rise thanks to its COVID-19 vaccine: from total revenue of $60 million in 2019 to (a then expected) $20 billion in revenue this year,” which a Morningstar analyst projected could include company profits on the vaccine “… as high as $14 billion.”

 

The Guardian reported that Moderna … charged the US government (which helped fund the development of the vaccine) up to $16.50 a dose, and has sold it for $22 to $37 outside the US.” (“COVID-19 Vaccines: the Contracts, Prices and Profits” The Guardian, Julia Kollewe, (8/11/21)  AstraZeneca, one of Moderna’s competitors, sells its vaccine for under $5.00.

The New York Times quoted Dr. Tom Frieden, a former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying “They (Moderna) are behaving as if they have absolutely no responsibility beyond maximizing the return on investment.” The paper also reported:

  • Of the handful of middle-income countries that have reached deals to buy Moderna’s shots,most have not yet received any doses, and at least three have had to pay more than the United States or European Union did, according to government officials in those countries.
  • The United States also kicked in $1.3 billionfor clinical trials and other research. And in August 2020, the government agreed to preorder $1.5 billion of the vaccine, guaranteeing that Moderna would have a market for what was an unproven product.

“Our message to Moderna remains clear: greed KILLS, and we will simply not tolerate pandemic profiteering ant further,” said Tracy Jones, Midwest Regional Director and National Director for Advocacy for AHF. “In low-income countries only about 4% of people have been vaccinated, with Africa hit especially hard. We will not allow pharma companies to keep lifesaving treatment from millions of people by charging exorbitant prices for medicines often developed with taxpayer support. Moderna must lower its vaccine prices, share its patents and technology with other countries and be transparent about its vaccine business dealings so that production may be scaled up across the world in order to truly address our global pandemic. We won’t stop until Moderna does the right thing!”

 

Over the summer, AHF spearheaded similar protests targeting Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson at their respective headquarters as fellow egregious pandemic profiteers.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tonya Thurman, MHA, Associate Director of Mobilization Campaigns for AHF 614.223.11532 mobile  [email protected]

John Farina, Associate Director of Advocacy – Social Media Platforms for AHF  216-832-7106 mobile [email protected]

Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications for AHF +1.323.791.5526  mobile [email protected]

Mr. W. Imara Canady, AHF National Director, Communications & Community Engagement, +1.770.940.6555 mobile  [email protected]

 

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