Governments are signing secret vaccine deals

In this January 28, 2021 article for The New York Times, authors Matt Apuzzo and Selma Gebrekidan pieced publicly available information about the vaccine deals being entered into by governments. According to the authors, governments and public health organizations are acquiescing to the demands of secrecy from vaccine manufacturers which makes accountability more difficult.

Using available documents and statements from public health officials, the authors tried to create a summary of the possible contents of the vaccine deals. Here are a few of the provisions of these contracts:

(1) Governments helped create vaccines, but companies get to keep the patents and use it as they wish.

(2) Prices of vaccine shots vary from country to country. There is no information on how companies price each dose.

(3) Donations and resales are prohibited.

(4) Vaccines arrive when they arrive. Vaccine manufacturers cannot be held accountable for delays in delivery.

(5) Some governments are profiting from vaccine sales.

(6) Companies are getting protection from liabilities.

Editor’s Note: What is in these vaccine deals that necessitates the secrecy? And why do governments acquiesce to the demands of these companies to the detriment of citizen welfare? When did pharmaceutical companies become more powerful than countries?

Condition #6 is particularly worrisome because companies do not have the incentive to create safe vaccines. Instead, governments will pay for the vaccine injuries. A look at those six provisions reveals that these are onerous, one-sided contracts which governments should not enter to.

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