As Moderna and Pfizer are reportedly prioritize profiteering at expense of poor nations, making the cost of vaccinating the global population cheaper than expected, investment in COVID-19 vaccines have created new billionaires.
PremiumTimes reports how the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International, in their analysis, listed the new billionaires to include Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stéphane Bancel, and Ugur Sahin, the CEO of BioNTech, which co-produced a vaccine with Pfizer, adding that both CEOs are now worth around 4 billion American dollars.
Oxfam, an international organisation advocating against inequality, was further reported to have said in a report issued late July, that analysis of production techniques for the leading mRNA type vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna suggest these vaccines could be made for as little as $1.20 a dose, but a recent analysis by People’s Vaccine Alliance, a global body advocating the equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines showed that both companies are charging up to 24 times the potential cost of production.
In a related development, there are concerns that, unlike the United States and the European Union, many countries do not disclose how much they paid for modern doses of the vaccines, and this development which is not in the best interest of poor countries, according to reports, may have to do with the deals these companies have struck with individual governments and global organisations patronising them.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that the U.S. paid $15 to $16.50 for each shot while the European Union paid between $22.60 to $25.50 for its Moderna doses while Botswana, Thailand and Colombia, which the World Bank classifies as upper-middle-income countries, are paying $27 to $30 per Moderna dose.