In response to the US Federal Food and Drug Administration’s expected emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Niko Lusiani, Senior Advisor with Oxfam America, made the following statement:
“As we celebrate another hopeful step towards the end of this pandemic, we must thank the unsung heroes whose dedication and sleepless hours have delivered us a safe and effective vaccine. Scientists have done their part, now it’s up to corporate leaders and policy makers to do theirs to make sure everyone, everywhere has access to the vaccine, here in the US and around the world.
“Afterall, this is not a one-company solution. On its own, Moderna can only produce the vaccine for less than 13 percent of the global population by the end of 2021, with most doses already spoken for by rich countries like the US. While there will likely be more than enough vaccines for the US population next year, only one in ten people in 70 poor countries will have access to the most advanced COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.
“As a product that was funded largely by US taxpayers, Moderna’s COVID-19 should be a people’s vaccine: patent-free, mass produced, distributed fairly, and made available free of charge, to every individual on the planet, no matter where they live, rich and poor alike.
“We welcomed Moderna’s pledge not to enforce intellectual property rights on its vaccine technology during the pandemic. The next step is for the company to make a public commitment to sharing the COVID-19 vaccine knowledge, technology, and know-how Moderna and the US National Institutes of Health co-developed to boost supply, reduce price and enhance equity.
“In a pandemic of this magnitude, we must pursue a new path – a People’s Vaccine that prioritizes public health over private profits and can produce the greatest number of doses in the shortest amount of time and ensure access for everyone. No one should be denied access to a life-saving vaccine simply because of where they live or how much money they have.”