Coronavirus

Photos: Doctors bring a giant pile of bones in demand for global vaccine equity from Moderna CEO

“It is really disappointing to see a company [that] seems to be completely unconcerned.”

Scientists, medical providers and public health advocates stood in front of a huge skull and bone scupture they put in front of the home of Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel on Chestnut Street in Beacon Hill. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Seeking to pressure drugmakers like Moderna to aid in the global distribution of vaccines, demonstrators stood outside of the Beacon Hill townhouse of the Cambridge firm’s CEO Wednesday alongside a 12-foot-tall structure of artificial human bones.

The group consisted largely of scientists, medical providers and public health advocates who have been on the frontlines battling the COVID-19 pandemic.  The bones structure represents the millions of COVID-19 deaths they say have occurred due to global vaccine inequities. 

The group called for Moderna and its CEO, Stephane Bancel, to share their vaccine knowledge with the U.S. government and other countries to make the COVID-19 vaccine available and increase production globally. 

Advertisement:

During the pandemic, Moderna’s stocks skyrocketed, making Bancel, alongside four other individuals, a billionaire. Bancel is worth approximately $12.2 billion. Initially when the race to put out the vaccine was ongoing, Moderna was given $2.5 billion in taxpayer money from the federal government to initiate Operation Warp Speed. 

However, the federal government is now having a hard time getting these companies on board to share their vaccine technology with global vaccine manufacturers in order to distribute the formula, the New York Times reported

GLOBAL VACCINE INEQUITY:

“Living in Boston, we all have a lot of friends in biotech and pharma, and a lot of them are very much concerned with the state of the world and global vaccine equity,” Dr. KJ Seung of Harvard Medical School, one of the demonstrators, told the Boston Globe in an interview. “It is really disappointing to see a company [that] seems to be completely unconcerned.”

Moderna spokesperson Colleen Hussey shared with the Globe a statement from Oct. 2020 outlining the companies intention not to enforce its COVID-19 patents “while the pandemic continues.”

A similar protest occurred outside of the White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain’s home in Washington D.C. Wednesday, where demonstrators called for action from the White House and the Biden administration.

Chief Medical Officer from Partners in Health Dr. Joia Mukherjee speaks outside the home of Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel to demand global vaccine equity. – Mary Schwalm/AP Images for PrEP4All
Assistant professor at Harvard Medical School Dr. Rebecca Zash speaks outside the home of Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel. – Mary Schwalm/AP Images for PrEP4All
Volunteers carry parts of a bone sculpture to set up. – Mary Schwalm/AP Images for PrEP4All
As demonstrators gathered at the home of the Moderna CEO in Boston, a similar protest took place in Washington at the home of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. – Eric Kayne/AP Images for PrEP4All
Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com