[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Apologies, this message was originally sent a few days ago. The article is available online here: [Read online: http://thewashingtonpost.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx] ]
Courtesy of Washington Post, we share:
Anything but accessible
In January 2020, a nonprofit with a mission to develop and equitably distribute vaccines invested $900,000 in a promising but untested bit of technology: Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. Announcing the grant, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) touted an alignment of values, namely a shared commitment to global public health. Documents suggest U.S.-based Moderna agreed to uphold the group’s “equitable access principles” — the idea that vaccines should be distributed according to need and at affordable prices. But more than year later, with the pandemic still raging, Moderna’s successful vaccine is anything but accessible. The company has sold most of the early doses to rich countries. Poorer countries have been almost entirely shut out.
Moderna “seems to have refused to allocate or sell any of their supply beyond the wealthiest countries, the most profitable markets,” said Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Asked about the $900,000 grant, equitable access provisions and calls to make the Moderna vaccine widely available, company spokeswoman Colleen Hussey referred The Washington Post to a more than three-month-old news release about third quarter financial results, which noted that discussions with Covax — an initiative to equitably distribute vaccines around the world — were “ongoing.”
Moderna is certainly not the only coronavirus vaccine maker to enter into deals with rich countries. Just 16 percent of the world’s population have snapped up 60 percent of doses, according to an estimate from researchers at Duke University. But Moderna’s record stands out because none of its doses are yet earmarked for what the World Bank classifies as low-income nations. — Emily Rauhala
Read on: Moderna agreed to ‘equitable access’ for its coronavirus vaccine, but most of its doses are going to wealthy countries’
The U.S. company has not contributed to Covax or signed any deals with low-income nations.
HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.
Email: jneana AT yahoo.co.uk