By Jake Johnson
“‘The U.S. government has power to share vaccine manufacturing knowledge and help other countries scale up production and finally end this pandemic. Millions of people have lost their lives waiting for such desperately needed action,’ Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, said in a statement Tuesday.
Maybarduk said he is encouraged by recent comments from Gayle Smith, head of the global Covid-19 response at the U.S. State Department. In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this week, Smith urged U.S. vaccine makers to help develop low-cost manufacturing hubs overseas and share their technological expertise.
But Maybarduk made clear that—given the Biden administration’s legal authority to compel their participation—the U.S. government can do much more than plead with profit-driven pharmaceutical companies to willingly act in the best interest of the world.
‘If the U.S. government acts swiftly, it can help save hundreds of thousands of lives and stem the spread of variants,’ said Maybarduk. ‘Moderna and Pfizer’s resistance to sharing the knowledge needed for countries to make vaccines is unforgivable. President Joe Biden has authority under existing law to order the sharing of vaccine recipes.'”