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Statement: Planned Africa Plant Cannot Excuse Moderna’s Failure to Share Knowledge and Doses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Moderna today announced its intent to build a future mRNA plant in Africa. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, issued the following statement:

Pledging to build a plant in the future cannot excuse Moderna’s failure to share knowledge or adequate doses today.

“The world would be far better served if instead Moderna cooperated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and South Africa to accelerate the development of the world’s first mRNA hub, which already is underway and is intended as a learning facility for manufacturers worldwide.

“Moderna holds secret a vaccine recipe that humanity needs; a vaccine pioneered significantly by public science and developed in large part by billions in public money.

WHO and the U.S. government have asked for Moderna’s help meeting the immediate desperate needs of global vaccination against COVID-19. So far, Moderna has turned them down.

“From indications, Moderna may control its African plant much as it controls the vaccine now; with commitment to monopoly power. Moderna gives no indication of technology transfer, and meanwhile, is overcharging African nations for its vaccine.

“In reality, this is not only Moderna’s vaccine. It’s the NIH-Moderna vaccine; the people’s vaccine. And the U.S. government has the power to order Moderna to share this essential technology with WHO and the world.”