Image from STAT News
With progress on the vaccine front making the news over the past few weeks, we can look to the history of mRNA vaccines to highlight the importance of a free vaccine. While no public statements on ensuring global access to the COVID-19 vaccine have been made, Pfizer has made sure to note that their vaccine was developed with no public funding.
Nevertheless, the Pfizer vaccine is a joint effort with the German company BioNTech, who did accept public funding for the research and development of the vaccine candidate. In addition, the technology behind Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine was first developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, an institution that receives public funding, in 1990.
While the idea was dismissed upon its discovery, it has become the leading technology in the COVID-19 vaccine race, used as the backbone for both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Read more from STAT News here.