Moderna: Share the Science to Ensure Global Vaccine Access

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel

Moderna's greed has caused suffering across the world.

Profiteering is always a problem—especially when it happens on the public dime. The US government invested billions in Moderna’s vaccine technology, but Moderna has not shared the benefits with the public.

The company raked in almost $18 billion in profits in 2022 alone, while multiple shareholders, including CEO Stéphane Bancel, have become billionaires.

Meanwhile, it has stonewalled all efforts to share its publicly funded technology with the world or license out production to other manufacturers.Globally, millions of people have died unnecessarily because of a lack of access to COVID vaccines—and Moderna’s hoarding deserves much of the blame.

Moderna and Pfizer produced mRNA vaccines, a new, highly effective technology based on decades of publicly funded research. The mRNA technology is vital not just for fighting the many strains of COVID-19, but to prepare for new infectious diseases, and to treat existing maladies like malaria. The refusal to share mRNA technology will widen inequities in access to medicines for future pandemics, making us all less safe. Remember—viruses don’t care about borders.

That’s why the Afrigen Technology Transfer Hub in South Africa, backed by the World Health Organization, is working hard to make mRNA technology available worldwide. They will then open-source this technology and share it with partner manufacturers in dozens of countries—a truly transformative and lifesaving effort. By providing scientific and technical support, Moderna could make it so the Hub doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, greatly accelerating their work and making the world a safer and healthier place.

Moderna’s collaboration would save precious time when it comes to life-saving medicines: not only the COVID vaccine, but future treatments for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and more. The success of the Hub would advance global health equity and access for all countries—Moderna’s refusal to support its work so far is not only greedy, it’s deadly.

Moderna must engage in technology transfer with the Afrigen Hub, and with companies across the Global South to ensure sustainable vaccine supply and access for countries. Sharing the science is essential: for our loved ones and global neighbors across the world, for ending the variants, for our elderly, for our families, for our communities.

Tell Moderna once and for all: share the science with the Afrigen Hub and companies across the Global South to ensure access to medicines and guarantee the human right to public health.

To: Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mr. Bancel,

The mRNA vaccine your company created was life-changing, and helped keep millions safe from a deadly virus.

However, we are all too conscious of the fact that in the Global South, only 28% of people have had access to even a single dose of the vaccine, and far less have had the opportunity to receive an mRNA shot, which did a lot to protect our communities during several of the variants.

Today, we are calling on you to engage in technology transfer and to share your science with the rest of the world.

The World Health Organization has backed the Afrigen mRNA Hub, which is working hard to develop its own mRNA technology. According to the Hub’s director, Petra Terblanche, Moderna’s refusal to collaborate thus far has forced the Hub to waste time and resources re-inventing the wheel. This time is precious when it comes to life-saving medicines.

Instead of stonewalling the Hub’s efforts, Moderna could choose to share science and technical expertise with this necessary and worthy cause.
Mr. Bancel, the lack of global access to the mRNA vaccine has caused millions of unnecessary deaths, resulted in several deadly variants, and prolonged this pandemic.

We are taxpayers and community members - teachers, students, nurses, restaurant workers, doctors, grad workers, parents, neighbors, and people with families and loved ones across the world. Our tax dollars went to the creation of this technology and funded your company’s success, and we would like to see this vaccine used for public good.

Now for the sake of this global emergency, for the sake of saving lives across the world, and for the sake of the human right to access important medicines, we are calling on you to share the science and engage in technology transfer with the Hub and companies across the Global South.

Thank you.