By Joey Daniewicz, Staff Writer Originally published in Issue 11, Volume 33 of The University Register on April 9, 2021
Just the other day, I received my Johnson & Johnson vaccination, and I’m really excited at the prospect of sharing space with humans again soon, Lord willing. But I’m slightly bothered by the way we’ve been promoting Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.
Last week I read a particularly gastly tweet sorting vaccines into Harry Potter houses. I get that people are just having fun, but those sorts of good vibes are what these corporations were hoping for at an all-time low period for big pharma.
One of the most pressing issues has been how the US can defeat the virus by supplying the rest of the world with the vaccine. Intellectual property issues aside – did you know that Oxford was going to make their vaccine open-license until Bill Gates convinced them to sell it to AstraZeneca? – one of the biggest issues here was just reported on: the Trump administration constructed legal contracts with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and AstraZeneca that blocked US doses from being donated.
But surely the Biden administration would simply restructure these and the manufacturers would be open to that, right? Well, the Department of Defense “did attempt to negotiate terms that would allow the use of vaccine doses outside the U.S., but in some cases, the vaccine manufacturers refused.”
I hope when this is over, we can go back to absolutely raking big pharma corporations over the coals at every opportunity we can find.
Image on top courtesy of ft.com