This morning I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. While I felt gratitude and relief to be halfway to fully vaccinated, I also felt anger, disgust, and shame. As with everything else in our system that puts profits over people (and planet), the Covid vaccine distribution is unequal. I’ve already blogged about some of the ways access is inequitable here in the U.S. (not to mention incarcerated people’s lack of access), but the situation is even more dire around the world.
The global death toll is currently at 2.77 million. Human decency would dictate that vaccines and vaccine patents be freely shared. Nope. Big Pharma isn’t satisfied with the billions they make each year. They’re lobbying the Biden administration to clamp down on countries trying to increase production. Read this article and weep. And rage.
As the needle pierced my skin this morning, I thought about this excerpt from that article:
Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, mocked proposals for sharing intellectual property as “nonsense” and “dangerous” at an industry forum last year. The vaccines are netting drug companies $21 billion this year alone, according to one estimate by Bernstein Research.
There you have it: Big Pharma scoffing at the the World Health Organization (WHO). Silly WHO, thinking people’s lives matter more than intellectual property.
So yeah, not totally thrilled to get that Pfizer shot in the arm.