Activists demonstrate Thursday at several pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna and Pfizer against vaccine inequality. The activists condemn the manufacturers for not sharing the composition of the corona vaccines with low- and middle-income countries.
In demonstrations in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India and Cambodia, the pharmaceutical companies are called “shameful and greedy”. In India and Cambodia, banners are hanging at important buildings and monuments asking to share the recipes of the corona vaccines. That message can also be read on billboards in New York and London.
Shareholders meetings of Pfizer in New York and Moderna in Boston will also be held on Thursday. Audio messages are played through speakers outside the office, in which activists shout words such as “shame” and “greed” (greed). Protesters also gathered outside on the sidewalk with banners.
In South Africa, people are standing at a company that has made its own formula for the mRNA vaccine. The country had previously asked Pfizer and Moderna for help but did not receive it. However, scientists have now created a first version of a proprietary vaccine by reading Moderna’s patents.
At the shareholders’ meeting, a spokesperson for Moderna stated that the company wants to address the long-term problem of vaccine inequality. The World Health Organization (WHO) presented a proposal at the meeting to share more knowledge between manufacturers of corona vaccines and poorer countries. In this way, the WHO wants to promote the production of vaccines in the countries. Moderna has asked investors to vote against the WHO resolution, saying it would be unrealistic.
Pfizer emphasizes that “fair distribution” of the corona vaccines was the “guideline” on its own website. The company has supplied millions of doses to COVAX and the vaccination program to distribute corona vaccines in poor countries. In addition, according to Pfizer, vaccines in rich countries cost more money than vaccinations in low- and middle-income countries.