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Boston Action: Free the Moderna Vaccine

The Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 Campaign, led by Universities Allied For Essential Medicines and the Center For Artistic Activism, is calling on Moderna Sciences to make the Open Covid Pledge which would commit any relevant intellectual property to be made available globally via open access licenses, and to price their vaccine at cost to ensure global access and equitable distribution to protect the world’s most vulnerable peoples.

Moderna recently announced that taxpayer money funds 100% of its work to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to licensure, yet they still plan to rake in billions charging the highest price yet announced for a potential vaccine. It was also recently discovered that the U.S. government may co-own their vaccine candidate making this innovation truly the People’s Vaccine, and not another private commodity to be price gouged at will. 

Join FreeTheVaccine and allies on Friday, August 28th at 2PM at the Kendall Square MBTA Station and on FTV_Boston’s FaceBook live to demand the following:

  1. Moderna must make the Open Covid Pledge and commit to making all relevant Intellectual Property, clinical trial data, and any other essential manufacturing steps available for global generic production.
  2. Moderna must price their vaccine at cost to maximize access and affordability.
  3. If Moderna doesn’t enact these demands, we also call on the U.S. Government to enact march in rights to force non-exclusive licensing of all relevant IP to drive global generic production.
  4. The US Government and Moderna must work together to ensure the vaccine is free at the point of sale for individuals everywhere.

Fair and affordable pricing of the COVID-19 vaccines and drugs currently under development has the potential to save millions of lives. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY PAID ONCE for the research and development of these products.  

If its new vaccine proves to be safe and effective, Moderna will have a choice to make. They can prioritize the interests of shareholders and executives thus furthering the destructive nature of this virus—or lead the way in fighting the defining health crisis of our generation.

For more information, reach out to the Boston Regional Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 Organizers at bostonfreedomvaccine@gmail.com.  

More information can be found at the facebook invite here if you’re into that.

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Take Action: Tell Us What You Love

If you read this newsletter, we have two things to say. One, we love you! And two, we want to know what you love.

Has a particular Free The Vaccine action inspired you? Do you wake up every Friday excited for the Special Bonus Content in this newsletter? Would you like to see a deeper dive into vaccine-related news, or into our participants’ crafting process? Do you think we should be taking to the streets—like we did in our London Carnival March—more often?

We want to hear from you, and you can email us at info@freethevaccine.org!

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Take Action

Take Action: Speak Out at the University of California Regents Meeting

July 28th through July 30th, the University of California will be holding the next meeting of its Board of Regents, and anyone who signs up by 9 AM PST on Monday, July 27th, will have the opportunity to make their voice heard. You do not need to be a California resident or a member of the UC community in order to make a public comment.

Free The Vaccine activists have put together this handy guide on how to sign up to speak, including talking points you can use. You will have 1-3 minutes to speak, depending on demand; please sign up even to make a brief statement in support of the University of California signing the Open COVID Pledge.

We don’t need fancy public speaking skills, but we do need numbers to ensure that the Regents hear the words “Open COVID Pledge” as many times as possible before the meeting is over. We have the power to redirect the conversation. Sign up and help us do it!

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Access Champions Take Action

How To: Make a Monument Mask

Remember this stunning action that the Ligers put together?

Turns out it’s pretty easy for you to do on your own, and we hope you will! To make the process as simple as possible, the Liger Lab has made this great how-to video for you:

Once you’ve made your masks, all that’s left to do is find an iconic statue in your area! Slip the mask on the statue (while wearing one of your own, of course), snap a photo, and then take the mask off the statue. In a recent Wednesday webinar, Steve (our Free The Vaccine project manager and veteran creative activist) offered some tips for documenting actions:

  1. Move your body as you take photos! Don’t be afraid of looking silly: you need the right angles for a good shot.
  2. Take a TON of photos. Expect to have one good photo for every twenty-four that you take!
  3. Capture the context and the detail. For example, take pictures of the area around the monument, and take close-up pictures of the mask you’ve made. You want to have all the information you need to tell a story in photos.
  4. Capture a before and after. (Mask on, mask off.)
  5. Use the best camera you can! You may have a really great camera or iPhone. You may need to borrow a friend’s.
  6. Ask questions and answer them. This can mean taking pictures and videos that tell a story, but it can also mean literally asking questions. Can you interview passersby to ask them what they think of the action?
  7. Think of one iconic photo that captures as much of the story as possible. This helps get your message out effectively in the media and on social media!

Don’t forget to tag us if you use these tips in your own mask action, or in another creative demonstration to free the vaccine.

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Take Action

Take Action: Ask Your Friends to Support the Open COVID Pledge

If you didn’t know by now, individual supporters can sign on to the Open COVID Pledge on our website, with a form that takes only a minute or two to fill out! If you haven’t added your name yet, take a minute to do so now. If you’ve already added your name, try to get a few of your friends to do the same!

Feeling nervous about asking a few friends? Free The Vaccine project manager Victoria El-Hayek has gathered 75 signatures from people she knows. Here’s what she has to say:

A lot of people, especially in America, don’t realize that access to a COVID vaccine won’t be a guarantee. Because of this, increasing awareness of FTV is so important as this campaign is for every single person in this world. Sharing the individual sign on for the pledge is a great (and easy) way to help people understand the necessity of this campaign. There are so many ways to share this pledge. You can post it all over social media (Facebook groups are great for this) or send it in emails but what I’ve found is the best way to get people to sign on is by texting them and explaining why this is important for everyone, but also why you care about this campaign so much and ask them to sign on and share it with others! 99% if people will be more than willing to sign on knowing how important it is to you. People in your life, even if you haven’t talked in awhile, are more willing to help you out than you might realize so don’t be afraid to ask!

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Take Action

Carnival March for a People’s Vaccine!

Join Us in London!
Monday 27th 12-3

Universities receive billions in public funding for their research on Covid-19 vaccines, diagnostics, tracking tools and treatments. We’re asking them to sign the Open Covid Pledge, to stop drug companies profiteering with publicly funded research.  

Join our Action: A (socially distanced) costumed walk to 3 universities in London – Kings College, LSE and UCL. All receive COVID-19 research funding, and have not yet guaranteed how they will support a People’s Vaccine.

JOIN US!

  • Wear / make a costume and march (Covid Head Masks / Lab Coats)
  • March with a banner / placard  (some slogan ideas below)
  • Join the Social Media team

MEET POINT

King’s College, Guy’s Campus
(by covered statue of Thomas Guy, Great Maze Pond, SE1)
11am Monday 27th July.

All Participants Must Wear a Mask and Keep a Covid Distance  

MORE DETAILS: Join this online planning meeting to discuss roles, costumes and social media Saturday 18 July @ 5


Placard / Banner Slogans
(feel free to make your own!)

SupportPeoplesVaccine_web

DEMAND A PEOPLE’S VACCINE for COVID 19

WE CAN STOP C19 WITH A PEOPLE’S VACCINE 

PUBLIC FUNDING FOR A PEOPLE’S VACCINE

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Take Action

Take Action: Play Bingo With Us On Instagram Stories!

This Friday, July 17th, join a social media push led by the Bear Squad!

All you have to do is post this Bingo template to your Instagram story, inviting your friends to sign on to the Open COVID Pledge.

As more friends sign on, you can repost the image, tagging them to thank them for signing!

Here’s an example timeline the Bear Squad shared to explain how it works:

  1. Sharing the template with a caption on how it works. You can link the pledge under your bio for easy access.

2. Tagging your friends who have signed the pledge! You can wait for 3 signatures before reposting the template with their usernames, then save the story to be reposted after more signatures.

3. Our planned outcome!

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Take Action

Take Action: Lip-Sync to Our Cover of “Jolene” and Share Our Viral Video!

Several weeks ago, our participants decided to make a Free The Vaccine video inspired by “Jolene” after learning that Vanderbilt University had received $10 million from the US government for COVID-19 vaccine research, in addition to $1 million from country singer Dolly Parton. Today, we launched our initial music video, and at the time I write this, our video has been viewed over 238,000 times (and counting).

Now we’re asking you to join us, following the instructions here to make your own video lip-syncing to our “Jolene” parody so you can be included in a future video! We’re also asking you to share the video far and wide (you can find the YouTube link here), and tag Vanderbilt in any social media posts you make about it. Let’s make art together that lifts our spirits and builds power at the same time. We’ll keep you updated as this exciting campaign continues to develop!

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Take Action: Help Us Tweet!

Got three minutes to help our team?

One of our Seal squads, based in Europe, had the idea to create a “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Scientists” book to celebrate COVID-19 researchers and advocate for the Open COVID Pledge at the same time! They’ve completed a beautiful portrait and profile for a scientist named Hanneke Schuitemaker, and now they need your help getting her attention.

With just a few minutes of your time, you can help our team. Here’s a sample tweet to get you started:

@SchuitemakerH We’re writing a profile of you to enter in the book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Scientists because of your work to make a COVID vaccine. But we need your help to finish the story! Please DM @fullyfiona to start a convo on how we can work together to #FreeTheVaccine

Want to make your tweet stand out even more? Add some images from the upcoming book!

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Take Action

Take Action: Sign on individually to the Open COVID Pledge!

As we work to get institutions to sign onto the Open Covid Pledge, many have expressed the wish that they could add their own names in a gesture of public support, showing their institutions that they care and want to see action for a free vaccine. We’re excited to share that this is now possible!

Head on over to this page, scroll down, and add your name. It only takes a few seconds, but it’s something to be proud of today.