By Maansa Gurram – Free the Vaccine Student Lead
Sharing a brief update on the latest action to fight for global equity in access to vaccines!
On Thursday, April 28th, activists from Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 in conjunction with partners and advocates from People’s Action, Health GAP and others gathered in Boston in front of the pharmacutical corporation Moderna to fight for a people’s vaccine. This was the day of the Moderna shareholders meeting at which Moderna’s profits were to be announced. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage in the Global South, an inequitable and vastly insufficient global vaccination effort threatens the lives of people around the world, including in the United States. Moderna generated over 6 billion USD in revenue for the first quarter of 2022 and made $12 billion in profits in 2021.
Students, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and individuals from all different walks of life came together to share their stories and demand that Moderna put people over profit. The number of deaths from COVID-19 are now estimated to be over 15 million according to the World Health Organization and despite high income nations trying to open up, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still rising in many parts of the world. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.
Moderna holds the power to greatly increase access to the vaccine and decrease the burden of Covid-19 by sharing the science and sharing the intellectual property rights to produce the vaccine. Activists rallied for three days, where they participated in actions to increase the pressure on Moderna. Actions included marching from Galaxy Park to Moderna Headquarters, calls to the CEO of Moderna, leading teach-ins, calls to individuals with power to share the wealth, a vigil, and much more. The efforts brought attention to the urgency of the situation and the call to action given to Moderna in doing its part to end the pandemic and our “Sharing is Caring” carebears made they own appearance again!