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WHAT: ~20 activists dressed as henchmen from the hit Netflix series “Squid Game” delivering prop “quarterly earnings” money to Moderna headquarters; release of parody “leaked footage” of Moderna leaders celebrating Biden’s unwillingness to invoke the Defense Production Act to compel vaccine technology sharing
WHEN: 9am Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021
WHERE: Moderna Headquarters, 200 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139
11/04/2021, Cambridge, MA -- As Moderna held its quarterly shareholder meeting Thursday morning, global vaccine equity activists dressed as antagonists from the hit Netflix series “Squid Game” descended upon the Moderna headquarters to deliver mock “quarterly earnings” in the form of wheelbarrows and briefcases full of cash. According to the creator of “Squid Game, global vaccine access disparities are a facet of the unequal global economic order the series critiques.
The activists also released parody “leaked footage” from the morning’s shareholder meeting, in which Moderna leaders remark that a prolonged pandemic is in their financial interests and celebrate President Biden’s unwillingness to invoke the Defense Production Act to compel the company to share its technology with other manufacturers in the US and around the world.
Numerous global health leaders have recently pressed President Biden to use the Defense Production Act to scale mRNA vaccine manufacturing by an additional 8 billion doses per year to meet global supply needs--an action Biden has so far been unwilling to take.
The activists’ parody video features a clip from January of top White House COVID advisor Anthony Fauci stating the need to produce “billions and billions of doses of vaccines so that the poorest country can have the same access to vaccines as we do in New York or Washington DC.” President Biden ignored this advice, the activists argued, instead leaving vaccine supply decisions to companies like Moderna, whose limited production this year has been entirely claimed through orders from governments in wealthy nations.
Today, approximately 76% of COVID vaccine doses have been administered in high- and upper-middle income countries, while just 0.6% of doses have been administered in low-income countries, according to the New York Times COVID vaccination tracker. Approximately 3 billion people have yet to receive a single dose. Rich countries have delivered more booster doses in three months than low-income countries have delivered first doses all year.
Moderna’s chairman recently announced the company will not share its secret vaccine recipe with other manufacturers. A recent New York Times investigation found 10 strong candidates in developing countries likely capable of making the Moderna vaccine if they had its recipe. Moderna has yet to deliver a single dose of its vaccine commitments to COVAX, the primary vaccine distribution mechanism for poor countries, a COVAX spokesperson said last week.
Thursday’s demonstration is the latest in a series of protests calling on vaccine makers to share technology and for President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to compel them to do so. Last week activists slept outside the home of White House COVID Czar Jeff Zients demanding action on scaling vaccine manufacturing. On October 21, activists created a mock “Pfizer graveyard” outside the home of CEO Albert Bourla in New York. In September, activists held dual press conferences on global vaccine inequity in front of 12 foot tall piles of prop human bones outside the homes of Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.