Friday, December 9

Pressure on companies to share COVID vaccine technology

Two influential institutional shareholder advisers recommended support for Oxfam’s resolutions, with one acknowledging global demand for vaccine equity amid criticism of the companies’ alleged prioritization of profits, as well as support for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rules at the World Trade Organization.

The shareholder resolutions at Moderna and Pfizer received nearly 30 percent support among independent shareholders. “We believe this strong vote share demonstrates that a significant number of Moderna and Pfizer’s shareholders recognize that the only sustainable way to end the pandemic is to leverage the world’s full manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible,” said Oxfam’s Robert Silverman in a statement. Johnson & Johnson released its resolution vote result over the following weekend, and reported 34 percent of shareholders supported Oxfam’s resolution.

Activists speak out

All three pharmaceutical companies conducted shareholder meetings on April 28th, and on the same day, civil society organizations and members of the People’s Vaccine Alliance held rallies and demonstrations to call attention to the need for expanded vaccine production. From Ireland to India, from South Africa to the England, activists took to the streets to call on these companies to share the technology.

In Cambridge, Mass., activists marched down Main Street to Moderna’s headquarters chanting, “Moderna! What the heck? Do your part and share the tech!”

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