By Aly Bancroft
In countries like the United States, we’ve made tremendous progress toward protecting our loved ones against COVID. While almost 60% of our population is fully vaccinated, only 4.5% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
Moderna controls the powerful vaccine it co-developed with the National Institutes of Health, supported by billions of dollars in public money. And the world has an urgent need to get that vaccine into the arms of as many people as possible–in countries around the globe. As long as vaccines remain out of reach, communities will experience needless, preventable deaths. And everyone will face the risk of new Covid variants emerging.
Moderna, however, has prioritized sending doses to wealthy countries. And they’ve refused to share their vaccine manufacturing process with qualified companies who could help them produce more doses.
Nearly 90 global health and development organizations are demanding that Moderna change its behavior and help to solve this crisis. With the People’s Vaccine Alliance, Public Citizen sent a letter to Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, asking him to answer three key questions :
- Does Moderna have excess production capacity that could be allocated towards low- and middle-income countries, as stated by the U.S. head of vaccine production David Kessler?
- Will Moderna heed the call of the White House and the World Health Organization to share know-how and transfer technology through the WHO to qualified manufacturers in other parts of the world?
- Will Moderna commit to providing the doses that it produces to low- and middle-income countries where they are needed most, including through COVAX, and at cost?
You can join this call to action by emailing the White House. President Joe Biden has the power to compel Moderna to share the recipe behind the NIH-Moderna COVID-19 vaccine — the most effective one developed to date.