Thursday, May 23, 2024

Boxes of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen)

Infectious disease doctors, politicians and activists plan a vigil at 4 p.m. Thursday near offices for Moderna, which organizers say “has become exceedingly wealthy supplying vaccines almost exclusively to high-income countries” but has “refused to share their vaccine manufacturing process and intellectual property with other companies that could help scale up vaccine production.”

The chief executives of Moderna and Pfizer are due to get Edward M. Kennedy Institute awards for “inspired leadership” just hours later, though local public health advocates argue that “they haven’t earned it and need to do more to end the pandemic.”

In a Wednesday email, public health advocates call for the suspension of pharmaceutical monopoly rules that they say prolong the pandemic.

“I am grateful for all the scientists, researchers and other professionals who worked to create these lifesaving vaccines. That said, given the global vaccine shortage, it is unconscionable that these companies are continuing to withhold information that is essential to ending the pandemic,” said state Rep. Mike Connolly, whose Cambridge district encompasses Moderna and Pfizer labs and plans to speak at the vigil. “I am once again calling on Moderna and Pfizer to release their intellectual property – and if they won’t, then it will be up to government to take action.”

The vigil is planned for 4 p.m. Thursday at 500 Technology Square, Kendall Square, as part of a global week of protest aimed at ending vaccine inequities between the rich and poor world. Events are planned for across the United States and in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Uganda the U.K. and more. Information is on Facebook and Twitter.

This post was written from a press release.