Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams continue to respond to the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19. We’re also pushing for people everywhere to have access to lifesaving medical tools to bring this pandemic under control.
Vaccines play a key role in keeping people safe and slowing the spread of the virus so spikes in cases don’t overwhelm health facilities. But as we enter the
third year of the pandemic, only 15 percent of people in low-income countries have received even a single dose, according to the United Nations Development Programme.
To help bridge this gap, MSF is calling on the Biden administration to demand that US-based pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer—plus Pfizer’s German partner, BioNTech—share vaccine technology and know-how with other manufacturers. More than 100 such companies stand ready to produce additional highly effective mRNA vaccines for the people who need them most, if only they had the recipe to do so. The US is in a strong position to make this demand, since both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the world’s only two producers of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, received billions of US taxpayer dollars to develop them.
“There’s no reason more vaccines can’t be made,” said Dr. Carrie Teicher, director of programs at MSF-USA. “Despite what these pharma companies want us to believe, we don’t have to rely on them for our vaccine supply. There are other companies out there that stand ready to help if the mRNA recipe is shared.”