AHF Denounces Moderna’s Backtracking on African mRNA Factory as a Blow to Global Health Equity

15 April 2024 | Monday | News

Pharmaceutical giant accused of prioritizing profits over promises, leaving Africa behind in vaccine manufacturing
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

In a scathing rebuke, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has criticized Moderna for suspending its plans to build a state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa. AHF alleges that Moderna's initial promise was merely a ploy to deflect criticism for price gouging on its COVID-19 vaccine.

AHF President Michael Weinstein condemned Moderna's actions, stating, “Moderna’s greed knows no bounds. It raked in $30 billion in profit since 2021. Now, it claims the mRNA factory in Kenya is no longer worth the investment because the African market for vaccines is not profitable enough. The only reason Moderna was able to achieve such astronomical profits in the first place was because it exploited publicly funded research and gained a stranglehold on the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines.”

The announcement comes as a shock to many who believed that Moderna's commitment to building the facility signaled a step towards global health equity. However, AHF asserts that Moderna's intentions were disingenuous from the start, aimed at appeasing critics rather than genuinely addressing global health disparities.

“Moderna’s claim that it undertook the project to support global health equity was a thinly veiled attempt to dodge pressure from the U.S. government and international civil society for fleecing the world. Now, Moderna has little to offer aside from empty promises, but that should not stop our collective efforts to ensure genuine global health equity,” added Weinstein.

AHF, the largest global AIDS organization, provides medical care and services to over 1.9 million clients in 47 countries worldwide, spanning the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region, and Europe.

The suspension of Moderna's mRNA manufacturing facility in Africa raises concerns about the pharmaceutical industry's commitment to addressing health inequities and underscores the urgent need for genuine efforts towards global health equity.

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