News

Recent press appearances from Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 collective members around the world.
  • 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 […]
  • WATCH: Video from the London Carnival March for a People’s Vaccine!
    The Seal Lab organized this incredible march of 30 demonstrators—the maximum number allowed to gather—in London this past week! From the creative costumes to the brilliant UAEM banner, we’re seeing so much inspiration for future demonstrations. Check out the video and share with […]
  • Meet Izzy and Mahima
    This week, we’d like to introduce you to two more members of our wonderful Free The Vaccine community: Izzy Levine and Mahima Arya, who are both from New Jersey! Izzy and Mahima are members of the Fox Lab, which is comprised of activists […]
  • Free The Vaccine Gets A Shoutout From I-MAK
    Our friends at I-MAK, which seeks to “increase global access to affordable life-saving medicines by restoring integrity to the patent system,” have launched a newsletter. In their first “something hopeful” segment, they’ve kindly chosen to highlight: The excellent #FreeTheVaccine campaign, a global movement […]
  • Phase One Finale: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Pfizer could make over $15 billion in vaccine sales An analyst has predicted that Pfizer could make over $15 billion from the vaccine at its current price of $19.50 per dose, in addition to the $1.95 billion Pfizer has already received from the […]
  • A Free the Vaccine Exhibit
    Creativity vs. COVID: Ending the Pandemic for Good
  • Meet Elin
    As the first phase of our campaign nears its end, we’d like to introduce you to Elin Chee, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley and a member of our Fox Lab! Meet Elin A data scientist, artist, and activist who hopes to go […]
  • Take Action: Speak Out at the University of California Regents Meeting
    SIGN UP BY JULY 27th to help us take over the UC Regents Meeting and free the vaccine!
  • Op-Ed in the Hartford Courant: Merith Basey, FTV Project Manager and UAEM North America Executive Director, Holds Yale Accountable
    On July 16th, the Hartford Courant published a letter to the editor by Merith Basey, the Executive Director for UAEM North America and one of our leads at the Free The Vaccine campaign, in which she responds to a June 28th op-ed by […]
  • Op-Ed in the Washington Post: World Leaders Call For Equal Global Access to a Vaccine
    On July 15th, world leaders (including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, South Korean President Moon Jae-In, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, Swedish PM Stefan Lofven, and Tunisian PM Elyes Fakhfakh) […]
  • Week 16: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    The US pays Pfizer $1.95 billion for a vaccine, and Novartis promises COVID-19 related medicines to poor countries “at cost.”
  • 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 […]
  • Highlight from the Dolphin Lab: Peter Singer Supports Free The Vaccine
    Last week, famous Australian bioethicist Peter Singer tweeted his support for Free The Vaccine. It wasn’t a random gesture of support; Dolphin Lab members had reached out asking for him to show his support on social media and for permission to use his […]
  • Week 14: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Ady Barkan secures a rhetorical commitment from Joe Biden on access to the vaccine, while Gavi’s agreements with donor countries appear to pose problems for access.
  • Take Action: Ask Your Friends to Support the Open COVID Pledge
    We’re currently at 729 signatures. Help us get to a thousand!
  • 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.   […]
  • Take Action: Play Bingo With Us On Instagram Stories!
    This Friday, July 17th, join a social media push led by the Bear Squad.
  • Op-ed in the Vanderbilt Hustler: UAEM students call for Vanderbilt to free the vaccine
    An op-ed by UAEM student Klara Lou, published in the Vanderbilt Hustler on July 15th, discussed the Free The Vaccine campaign in the context of the university’s broader commitments to social justice, and called for the university to join the Open COVID Pledge.
  • Op-ed in Jacobin Magazine calls to nationalize the pharmaceutical industry
    A new article in Jacobin calls for a socialized pharmaceutical industry as a response to the crises of COVID-19 and access to medicines.
  • Highlights from Week 13: Meet Vivian and Kaity
    Meet Vivian and Kaity, two members of the FTV community based in Los Angeles.
  • Op-Ed in Democracy Journal Calls for People’s Vaccine
    An op-ed by Sophia Crabbe-Field, published on July 8th in Democracy Journal, explains the debate over access to COVID-19 vaccines and the need for people’s vaccine: Should the pharmaceutical industry be successful in convincing the world they are indeed the heroes of the […]
  • 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. […]
  • Week 13: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    The U.S. Government Pays Biotech Company Novavax $1.6 Billion On July 7th, the U.S. government gave biotech company Novavax $1.6 billion to cover testing, commercialization and manufacturing of a potential coronavirus vaccine. The move was particularly notable because Novavax has never brought a […]
  • Highlights from Week 12 Mission: Engage the Public
    This week, our participants’ mission was to engage the public. That means reworking posters using detailed feedback from Avram Finkelstein, posting on social media to increase individual sign-on to the Open COVID Pledge (note: if you’re reading this and haven’t signed on yet, […]
  • 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 […]
  • Op-Ed in STAT News On How HHS Can Make Remdesivir Affordable
    A new op-ed in STAT News by Chris Morten, Christian Urrutia, and James Krellenstein explains how an existing legal tool called government patent use could be used by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase competition and drive down the […]
  • Week 12: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    We should all be outraged about the global access issues with Gilead’s drug remdesivir. Meanwhile, support grows for a free vaccine…
  • Op-Ed in WBUR on what we can learn from the AIDS crisis, plus a shoutout to Free The Vaccine
    Don’t miss this fantastic piece by Michael Caron McGuill in WBUR’s Cognoscenti on what we can learn from ACT UP’s history, and why we need a free vaccine. McGuill writes: One campaign fighting for global access and a free vaccine, Free the Vaccine, represents […]
  • Op-Ed in Jacobin on Remdesivir and Public Funding
    A new op-ed by David Sirota in Jacobin Magazine discusses the sky-high price tag on remdesivir and the $70 million Gilead received in public funding to develop it, calling for the use of Section 1498 and Bayh-Dole march-in rights to make medicines including […]
  • 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 […]
  • Highlights from Week 11: Meet Dannie and Stacy
    Each week, you’ve gotten to see the work our incredible activists are doing to free the vaccine. This week, we’d like to introduce you to two of them: Dannie Snyder of Austin, Texas, and Stacy Early of Memphis, Tennessee! Dannie and Stacy are […]
  • Op-Ed in The Nation Calls for a People’s Vaccine
    A new piece in The Nation by Ady Barkan and Zain Rizvi calls for a vaccine that “belongs to the people,” discussing the dangers of patent monopolies and the need for publicly funded medicines to be fairly priced. They write: Like Salk, Bancel […]
  • EVENT 6/26: Free The Vaccine at Global Change Days
    We will be hosting a session on Free The Vaccine this Friday at 2 pm EST, at the online Global Change Days conference! You can get tickets for the whole conference on the website, and we hope to see you there.
  • Highlights from the Week 10 Mission: Spheres of Influence
    This week, our participants thought about the spheres of influence for our campaign and how they might give people in each sphere the opportunity to get involved with their actions. As part of this mission, they also refined the posters they’ve been working […]
  • Week 10: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Dexamethasone Trials Yield Positive Results An Oxford trial showed that treatment with the steroid drug dexamethasone cut the risk of death from 40% to 28% for patients on ventilators and from 25% to 20% for patients treated with oxygen. Dexamethasone is the first […]
  • Free The Vaccine on the UnfairNation Podcast
    Merith Basey, one of our leaders here at Free The Vaccine and Executive Director at UAEM North America, recently went on the UnfairNation podcast to talk about why medicines are so expensive and why we need to free the vaccine. Check out the […]
  • Highlights from the Week 9 Mission: Turn Up The Pressure
    This week, our participants continued to work on poster designs and powerful visuals to use in their actions! At the same time, they helped each other turn up the pressure on their targets, brainstorming responses to reluctant targets and sharing approaches that work. […]
  • Week 9: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    The Medicines for Malaria Venture Launches the COVID Box On June 10th, the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) announced that they will be providing a set of 80 marketed drugs or compounds with potential activity against COVID-19 to researchers, in exchange for scientists […]
  • How-To: An Audio Card Toolkit for Freeing the Vaccine
    In past newsletter installments, we’ve talked about the creative idea one of our Seal squads had to send audio cards to targets instead of emails. An email is easy to delete. A beautiful audio card that literally speaks to you? Not so much. […]
  • Free The Vaccine on the “Nice Work!” Podcast
    Over the past few weeks, several Free The Vaccine participants have been featured on Tod Brilliant’s “Nice Work!” podcast, a project of the Super Nice Club. Here you can check out Tod’s interview with Prince Andrew Ardayfio, a Salk Labs member in Accra, […]
  • Free The Vaccine on CBC Radio One
    Salk Labs members Olivia Bonardi and Izzy Levine were interviewed about the Free The Vaccine campaign on Breakaway With Alison Brunette, which broadcasts across Quebec on CBC Radio One! Check out Olivia and Izzy’s interviews here at the link that says “June 5, […]
  • Op-Ed in STAT News Calls for a “People’s Vaccine,” Mentions Free The Vaccine Campaign
    This piece in STAT News discusses the need for a “people’s vaccine” affordable around the world in the broader context of foreign policy and international power. The piece gives a shout out to the Free The Vaccine campaign, pointing out that in addition […]
  • Week 8: What We’re Reading, Black Lives Matter Edition
    If you are looking for resources including important petitions, protest and riot safety information, funds to donate to, and ways you can support protests from home… These two links are an excellent place to start. If you are looking for mental health resources […]
  • Week 8: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    The top 5 most promising candidates—and what we know about access to them A recent review by the Cornell Alliance for Science has identified the five most promising vaccine candidates for COVID-19. Here they are, ranked by the Alliance from most to least […]
  • Sign a petition for the UK government to make the vaccine affordable!
    Looking for an action that takes less than a minute? Sign this petition by Global Justice Now calling on the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Secretary of State for International Development! The petition asks for conditions to […]
  • Highlights from Week 8 Mission: How do you make an iconic image?
    Learning from Iconic AIDS Activism This week, team leads Steve, Merith, and Rebecca spoke with Avram Finklestein, the AIDS activist and designer who helped create the famous SILENCE = DEATH image shown above. He’s also the artist behind many other powerful images that […]
  • Representatives Schakowsky and Rooney Call For Affordable Coronavirus Treatment and Vaccine
    In an op-ed for Newsweek, U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Francis Rooney argue for various government reforms which would ensure affordable drugs and vaccines for COVID-19, including combating monopolies, requiring an affordable price, and mandating transparency in R&D funding. We know drug corporations […]
  • MSF Calls for No Patents on COVID-19 Drugs, Tests, or Vaccines
    The international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, announced on May 27th that they were calling for no patents or profiteering on all COVID-19 medical products. The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) today called for […]
  • Week 7: What We’re Reading
    If you’re interested in what the editorial board of the world’s preeminent science journal has to say about ensuring access to the vaccine… Read this editorial in Nature arguing that patent pooling is critical to ensuring health justice, and that accepting the conventional […]
  • Write about Free The Vaccine and the Open COVID Pledge!
    For those who can commit to a more time-intensive action, a New York Times editor is looking for college students to write op-eds about their experiences during the pandemic and their thoughts on schools reopening. This could be a great opportunity for a […]
  • Reach out with us!
    Heads of state, former heads of state, and other prominent figures have formally announced their support for The People’s Vaccine, arguing in an open letter that the vaccine should be available to all, in all countries, free of charge. We’ve compiled the full […]
  • Week 7: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    No vaccine yet, but Moderna’s CEO has already turned a profit Reports on Moderna’s early vaccine trials have been mixed, but initial positive reports sent the company’s stock soaring. The company’s CEO and several top executives sold thousands of shares to profit off […]
  • Highlights from Week 7 Mission: What have we learned?
    This week, as we approach the halfway mark of our campaign (more on that next week), we asked our participants to reflect on where they’re at and where they’d like support. We gave participants a list of campaign moments—like making contact with a […]
  • Run With Us!
    Want a simple way to join one of our creative actions? Our activists have been adding another element to their social distancing runs. Check it out below: Next time you go for a run (or a walk, or a bike ride) to get […]
  • Week 6: What We’re Reading
    If you’re looking for a deep dive into how we might reimagine the biomedical R&D system, with the lessons of the pandemic in mind… Read this excellent piece in The New Republic by Alexander Zaitchik, which quotes Free The Vaccine project manager Merith […]
  • Week 6: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Launch of New UAEM Mapping Project On May 18th, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines launched PublicMeds4Covid.Org, a project tracking public investment in research on COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines around the world. The mapping, which was widely shared by scientists and activists alike, […]
  • Highlights from Week 6 Mission: Slowing Down
    This week, we asked our participants to reflect and catch up, taking a survey on the campaign so far, reading each other’s mission reports, and mapping their own progress. Participants also used this week’s webinar—which featured a role play of how to talk […]
  • UN AIDS/OXFAM Calls for “People’s Vaccine” – with same goals as ours!
    World leaders unite in call for a people’s vaccine against COVID-19 More than 140 world leaders, experts and elders have made an unprecedented call for guarantees that COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, tests and treatments will be provided free of charge to everyone, everywhere GENEVA, […]
  • Highlights from Week 5 Mission: Iterate and Steal
    This week, we’d like to share some more highlights from our mission reports that showcase creative actions our Labs are planning—and how actions evolve as our squads reach their targets! Their mission this week was to iterate and steal: to repeat actions with […]
  • Week 5: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Bernie Sanders pushes for commitment to a free vaccine, and as the World Health Assembly approaches, language supporting access makes its way into the COVID-19 resolution.
  • What We’re Reading
    Here you’ll find a list of articles recently shared within our Labs and relevant to the Free The Vaccine campaign. We hope this can be a resource for those in our Labs as well as outside!
  • Plant Something With Us!
    Want a simple way to join one of our creative actions? It’s easy–just plant something, or find a plant you can use. Then follow the steps in the infographic below to dedicate the plant to a researcher working on COVID-19! If you’re having […]
  • The New Republic Addresses the Broken R&D System, Mentions UAEM’s Work on COVID Vaccine
    This piece in The New Republic is a comprehensive look at our biomedical R&D system, how it has failed people in the pandemic, and how it might be reimagined to better serve public health needs. The piece quotes a number of experts on […]
  • How Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 works
    We’re excited to share this new graphic that briefly describes who is a part of our campaign, how we work, what we do, the results, and our goal.
  • America Dissected Podcast covers our campaign
    America Dissected is a Crooked Media podcast looking at the COVID-19 global pandemic. How did we get here? What went wrong? What do we do about it now? In season 2, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a physician and former city health commissioner, will keep […]
  • Week 4: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Gavi proposes an advance market commitment for the vaccine, and EU leaders commit over 8 billion USD to vaccine research. We caution against measures that only offer lip service to affordability.
  • Highlights from Week 4 Mission: Distill and Mix
    Last week, our Lab members continued to push themselves with creative tactics to get institutions to sign on to the Open COVID Pledge. This week, they focused on learning from each other, identifying what has worked in other Labs and applying those lessons […]
  • Highlights from Week 3 Mission: The Process
    Last week, our Lab members began highly targeted advocacy efforts, with the goal of getting institutions to sign on to the Open COVID Pledge. This week, they continued those efforts, sharing lessons learned in order to improve strategy and push themselves strategically. MISSION […]
  • Week 3: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Senator Warren and Representative Schakowsky announce the COVID-19 Emergency Manufacturing Act, proposing urgently needed action to ensure affordable access to drugs, medical devices, and PPE.
  • Take Action: Sign the Open COVID Pledge
    Not a member of our Global Advocacy Innovation Labs? We still need your help! Here are some things you can do: Located In the U.S.? Sign this Petition Demanding Access. Our U.S. Petition demands that government officials make vaccines and diagnostic tools for […]
  • Highlights from Week 2 Mission: Set Your Targets
    Last week, our Lab members got our message out to a wide audience using traditional media. This week, with the goal of getting institutions to sign on to the Open COVID Pledge, we shifted gears to highly targeted creative advocacy.  MISSION 2: Get an […]
  • Week 2: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?
    Tech giants signing on to the Open COVID Pledge wasn’t the only interesting news we learned this week. Here are some developments that should be on your radar: 1. The European Union has proposed a volunteer pool of COVID-19 research 2. The UN approved a resolution to strengthen global coordination. 3. The U.S. National Institutes of Health has launched a new partnership to speed up development… but…
  • Campaign featured on “The Plague” podcast
    Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 participant, L.M. Bogad, has a new podcast called The Plague. Check out episode three with Merith Basey, one of the leads of the Free The Vaccine for COVID-19 campaign.
  • Amazon, Facebook, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sandia join Open COVID Pledge
    Last week the Center for Artistic Activism joined Universities Allied for Essential Medicines in signing the Open COVID Pledge: This week we were joined by some unusual allies.
  • Free the Vaccine Actions
    Check out some of the growing solo-protestor images and contributions to support our campaign from around the world. Tag yours with #freethevaccine and we’ll aim to add them here!
  • Time Magazine: To End this Pandemic We’ll Need a Free Vaccine Worldwide
    What we’re advocating for is also advocated in this week’s Time Magazine by Gavin Yamey. “Yamey is a physician and professor of global health and public policy at Duke University, where he directs the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health.”
  • The Salk Labs: Week One
    As you probably know, the Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 Campaign was conceived of mere weeks ago, and we officially launched our first week of online training and activities last Wednesday, April 8th. Hundreds of activists, artists, and others from 29 countries joined […]
  • Take Action: Sign the Open COVID Pledge
    This week the Salk Labs are seeking out people, universities, institutions, and non-profits to sign the Open COVID Pledge. Please help get the word out. Tell friends about the Open COVID Pledge, send emails, post on social media, write letters to the editor, […]
  • Free The Vaccine Op-Ed in the Cambridge Globalist
    The Cambridge Globalist published an op-ed by Free The Vaccine participant Sofia Weiss Goitandia! In her piece, Sofia discusses the challenges in ensuring the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. She argues that all vaccines developed with public funding should be sustainably priced, […]
  • Free The Vaccine Op-Ed in The Tyee
    The Canadian news magazine The Tyee published an op-ed by Free The Vaccine mentor Louise Kyle, discussing the campaign around the 50th anniversary of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine. As Louise writes, There’s a simple solution to ensure that all diagnostics, vaccines and treatments […]
  • Make Vaccines and Diagnostic Tools for COVID19 Developed with Public Funding in America Available to All
    We’re amassing signatures on a petition for Alex Azar II, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. It’ll just take a moment and you’ll help us demonstrate the demand for publicly funded medicines to […]
  • Welcome!
    Salk Team Members, we have a forum set up for us at labs.freethevaccine.org.
  • Information Session
    We held two information sessions for potential participants in the Salk Labs on March 27 at 9am and 9pm.