On October 28th UAEM students and staff supported the organizing for a protest led by allies “People’s Action” in Washington DC demanding world leaders at G20 1) lift vaccine patents and share the technology to allow ALL countries to develop their own vaccines and 2) equitably redistribute surplus vaccines in high income nations. The rally was covered on the front page of Democracy Now. The image that was selected was of our Free the Vaccine banner with “Sharing is Caring” held up by students in Care Bear costumes. Full coverage of the protest can be viewed here.
UAEM members Neda Ashtari, along with former UAEM board member Gloria Tavera are the focus of the new documentary, "White Coat Rebels by a documentary team from Participant Media". The documentary examines the pharmaceutical industry from the perspective of advocacy and those who are fighting against its power and influence. In case you missed it at the Silver Spring film festival, it is now closed, but we will announce broader distribution in the coming months. Stay Tuned!
While we acknowledge Pfizer’s reports that their vaccine appears to be 90% effective, we also know that a vaccine will not be able to do its job if people cannot access it or afford to pay for it. Furthermore, unless scientists are able to review the data, we will not yet be able to determine the vaccine’s efficacy and safety long-term. The drug corporation shared the news with media that their COVID-19 vaccine is showing great promise in virus prevention yet we know the data is yet to be peer-reviewed. Conveniently, the headlines have simultaneously increased Pfizer stock prices. The vaccine made in partnership with BioNTech, a German drug company that received €375 million from the German government in public funds, is supported by limited documentation and isn’t open for further external review.Read more
After today's Free the Vaccine and allies protest outside Moderna’s headquarters, the company released a statement saying “…Americans will receive mRNA-1273 (the pending coronavirus vaccine) at no cost…”
This wasn't always the case, in a NYTimes.com story published in July. Dr. Stephen Hoge, the president of Moderna, said, "We will not sell it [the COVID-19 vaccine] at cost."
In response to Moderna, UAEM Executive Director, Merith Basey gave a quote to Rall Call saying that “... we’ve already paid for [Moderna’s investigational vaccine] so ‘no cost’ is not really the case. You could say potentially that it will be free at the point of delivery, but we’re not even sure if that’s true yet. … What about administration? distribution?”. You can read the full article here.
UAEM's Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 team led the DC Rally on May 5, 2021, where we were able to announce live that our global movement had convinced the Biden administration to support the TRIPS Waiver! An unprecedented victory in the fight to center people not profit in the fight to ensure access to COVID-19 medicines for everyone, everywhere but much more needs to be done. Join us!
Massive Overhaul Needed: New UAEM Report Card Reveals Trouble for Universities and their Commitment to Research Practices, Global Health Equity, and COVID-19
Universities Aren’t Doing Their Part to Protect Access to Lifesaving Medicines
March 30, 2021—WASHINGTON, D.C.—Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) released their long-awaited 2020 U.S. University Report Card: Global Equity and Biomedical Research. It is a critical study of the top sixty research universities in the States scrutinizing their biomedical research and development (R&D) policies, practices, and performance in domestic and neglected global public health needs in access to medicines, including their COVID-19 response.Read more
Dr. Michael McGuill boldly and aggressively targets the race to the coronavirus vaccine(s) through the protracted battles with Big Pharma to make HIV/AIDS medication AZT (azidothymidine) affordable and accessible. The same battle he fears will be that of the coronavirus vaccine. It is the same issues which UAEM is fighting with their partnership with the Center for Artistic Advocacy (C4AA) and our innovative Free The Vaccine campaign.
Oxford, AstraZeneca Covid-19 deal reinforces 'vaccine sovereignty.' We need a people's vaccine instead
The Op-Ed in STAT News highlighting the idea of "vaccine sovereignty" and how it can be used as a tool of oppression, featuring UAEM's Free The Vaccine Campaign saying that "Momentum for a people’s vaccine is growing, reinforced by a number of initiatives such as the Free the Vaccine campaign that includes the involvement of university medical students led by Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). In addition to being about ensuring access to a Covid-19 vaccine, these initiatives also seek to dismantle the biomedical system upon which the Oxford-AstraZeneca deal was built." Read full article here.
UAEM, in conjunction with SNMA and AMSA, launches its interactive mapping tool for COVID-19 public funds at universities and public research institutions. Our first set of data spans Australasia, Europe, North America and South Korea.
UAEM’s mapping tool illustrates the magnitude of public funding that has been directed to university research on COVID-19. These findings will be leveraged to call on universities to ensure that COVID-19 health technologies developed with their contributions are widely and equitably accessible. UAEM activists across the world will be working with universities, students and researchers to promote equitable licensing practices and raise awareness of the important role of universities, public funding and public knowledge in the development of COVID-19 technologies.