Moderna Posts Billions In Profits From COVID-19 Vaccine But Won’t Share Technology | Doctors Without Borders
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 4 NOVEMBER 2021—As Moderna today released its third quarter 2021 sales figures showing astronomical profits from the COVID-19 vaccine, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling on the company to share immediately its mRNA vaccine technology and knowledge. how with the World Health Organization Vaccine Technology Transfer Center in South Africa.
Moderna today announced third quarter 2021 revenue of US $ 5 billion worldwide. The company’s sales to date for 2021 were $ 11.3 billion, with up to $ 18 billion forecast for the full year from the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine alone. This vaccine was developed with significant public funding. For this reason, Moderna has an obligation to assist global COVID-19 vaccination efforts, to work to prevent dangerous “variants of concern” from taking hold and to help end this pandemic, said MSF.
“American taxpayers made the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine possible,” said Dr Carrie Teicher, MSF-USA program director. “The company absolutely must be responsible for the public effort to immunize the world, and the United States must use its vast legal powers to force or coerce Moderna to share the technology and help boost global vaccine production. Time is running out for the United States to assert its claim to be a world leader on COVID-19. ”
The US government provided Moderna nearly $ 10 billion in taxpayer dollars for both research and development and the purchase of 500 million doses of this COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. This includes almost the entire cost of clinical development. In addition, Moderna has used patents and non-exclusive rights that the US government has made available to them to manufacture this COVID-19 vaccine.
Given the huge amount of public money the US government has given Moderna, MSF calls on the Biden administration to use the legal leverage offered by the Defense Production Act to force the company to share technology and knowledge- make vaccines with the WHO mRNA. Hub technology transfer immediately.
As of October 9, 2021, Moderna had only provided 1 million doses to low-income countries. Less than six percent people in low-income countries, including many places where MSF works, have received their first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna has not delivered of its committed doses to COVAX, the global procurement mechanism that was supposed to ensure equity in the COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna instead obtained several patents with very broad claims covering its COVID-19 vaccine and other mRNA technologies in South Africa without registering the product in the country. This means that while the company is unwilling to make the vaccine available in South Africa in significant quantities, it is preparing to put in place patents to enforce them once the pandemic is declared over. Given its minimal efforts to contribute to global equity in vaccines, the recent Memorandum of Understanding with the African Union to provide up to 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine through 2022, as well as plans to increase production in Africa, is insufficient.
In fact, Moderna’s plan to build its own mRNA facility somewhere in Africa directly undermines current global public health efforts to foster technology transfer and build independent manufacturing capacities on the continent. Since its announcement in April 2021, the WHO mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer Center in South Africa has not been able to obtain any mRNA technology from any companies, and it will now try to develop its own candidates. vaccines from scratch. While this is a laudable attempt, it is completely unnecessary and an unjustifiable waste of time and effort when more advanced and approved COVID-19 mRNA vaccines already exist.
“By choosing to ignore global public health initiatives and go her own way, Moderna has made it clear that she is far more interested in raking in grotesque profits than in contributing to the global vaccine effort to save lives. “said Candice Sehoma, South Africa. advocacy manager for the MSF access campaign. “If Moderna shared its technology with the WHO mRNA hub, the company could help increase global production of COVID-19 vaccines now. Instead, by leaving the WHO mRNA center to try and replicate what has already been done, Moderna is sabotaging an opportunity to foster the manufacture of self-sufficient vaccines in Africa. “
Sharing mRNA technologies will increase the global production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, save lives in this pandemic and into the future, and help low- and middle-income countries become more self-sufficient in their response to the disease. current and future potential for pandemics. According to MSF research, at least seven African-based manufacturers that produce sterile injectable medical products are ready to produce COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.
In addition to demanding that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna share mRNA vaccine technology, MSF urges all governments to support the WHO COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer center with financial and political support. In addition, MSF calls on governments with sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccine to immediately redistribute excess doses to the COVAX facility or to regional organizations. MSF also urges governments to support the proposed TRIPS waiver to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to relinquish intellectual property monopolies on all COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and other health tools during the pandemic; and use all legal and policy tools to facilitate the uninterrupted production and diversity of the supply of COVID-19 medical tools.