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23 Sept 2021

US Companies under Pressure to Share Covid Vaccine Formulas

The Index Today

Health advocates across the world have stressed the need for Moderna to share its vaccine technology with other countries. The firm has acquired technological assistance from the National Institutes of Health and has additionally received $2.5 billion from the government.
Colleen Hussey from Moderna stated via email that the firm will no longer enforce any patents related to the Covid-19 vaccine, and will provide licensing for intellectual property for the vaccine to others once the pandemic comes to an end.
But advocates have insisted that the vaccine formula should be given to researchers now and should not be withheld for post-pandemic times. Alain Alsalhani, a vaccine expert expressed his opinion saying, “You need someone to share the whole process with, because it is a new technology. One of the problems we have is that the scientific literature on manufacturing mRNA vaccines on an industrial scale is very scarce. That is why it is not just a recipe, it is an active and comprehensive technology transfer.”
Pfizer and BioNTech announced earlier that they both intend to work with South African Biovac as an initiative to provide vaccine to the continent. However, Biovac will not be given the vaccine formula and will only be required to bottle the vaccine.
As most companies are not willing to cooperate on the matter, experts are suggesting that the matter should be taken up by the Biden Administration who have the legal power to mandate companies to share vaccine technology.

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