We’ve heard a lot of good news about coronavirus vaccines lately. From the Moderna vaccine to the Pfizer vaccine to the Oxford vaccine, science is working, and help is on the way.
Since the start of the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. government has funneled more than $10 billion in taxpayer dollars to pharmaceutical companies for a vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine was 100% taxpayer funded; Moderna spent zero of its own dollars on it. Of the $2.5 billion Moderna received, $1 billion initially funded the research and development and $1.5 billion was granted to secure doses in advance, with no guarantee that vaccines will be affordable.
Typically, taxpayers pay for about 80% of drug research. Almost every new drug begins with NIH-funded labs. The three main funding sources for pharmaceutical research are: National Institutes of Health (NIH), university labs (often funded by taxpayers), and nonprofit organizations like the Gates Foundation.
Often, the private drug firms enter the picture only after the public has paid for the development and clinical trials for new treatments.
No corporation owns the COVID-19 vaccines. We need governments and multilateral organizations working together to direct as many companies and institutions as possible to produce and distribute the vaccines.
Every one of the vaccines is the people’s vaccine, funded with tax dollars. The coronavirus vaccines should be free for all Americans, regardless of their ability to pay.