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Moderna Vaccine Belongs to the People

WASHINGTON - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced “promising interim results” from phase III clinical trial data of the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which was co-developed by Moderna, Inc. and the National Institutes of Health. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, released this statement:

“This is the people’s vaccine. The NIH’s vaccine. It is not merely Moderna’s vaccine. Federal scientists helped invent it and taxpayers are funding its development. We all have played a role. It should belong to humanity.

“Both the current administration and President-elect Biden have the opportunity to make this vaccine a public good that is free and available to all and help scale up global manufacturing, in order to prevent medical rationing that could become a form of global vaccine apartheid.

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“If the NIH vaccine proves safe and effective, it could be one of the most important medical tools of our time. But limited supply could keep this vaccine out of reach for billions of people worldwide, extending their suffering for several years.”

Public Citizen previously published a report showing that, in addition to the U.S. government’s early investments, the government has filed patents related to the vaccine and will likely have an ownership stake in the vaccine technology. Moderna has relied on a stabilized spike protein developed by the U.S. government. The U.S. government also funded 100% of Moderna’s project to bring the vaccine to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval. Taxpayers also paid twice when the Trump administration paid Moderna an additional $1.5 billion to secure doses in advance.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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