Alex Lawson

The truth about the 'Moderna' vaccine: It's a publicly funded miracle

The so-called "Moderna" vaccine is a miracle of science. It is nearly 100 percent effective at preventing serious illness and death. By vaccinating the world, we can end the COVID-19 pandemic and save millions of lives.

The only problem? We don't have nearly enough doses. But there's a solution: If the Biden administration allowed generic manufacturers, not just Moderna, to manufacture the vaccine at scale, the United States would no longer suffer from a vaccine shortage.

This step is entirely appropriate, because the "Moderna" vaccine wasn't developed by Moderna. The research and development of the vaccine were paid for by our U.S. taxpayer dollars, to the tune of $2.5 billion. In fact, Dolly Parton put more money into the vaccine than the company it is named after when she donated $1 million to the effort.

This isn't Modern's vaccine. It is the people's vaccine, and it's time for the law to reflect that.

Currently, Moderna has a government-granted monopoly on the vaccine. That means that they are the only company allowed to manufacture it. The only reason there is a shortage of vaccines is that we allow this one company to create that shortage. It is a nonsensical and corrupt situation.

That needs to change immediately.

There's no need for the Biden administration to grant generic licensing on every vaccine, although legally they certainly could. Pfizer, and any other vaccines like Johnson & Johnson that ultimately get approved by the FDA, can keep their monopolies. But we need a public option, and that's the so-called Moderna vaccine that we funded with our public dollars.

Just vaccinating everyone in the United States isn't good enough. Vaccinating the entire world is both a moral imperative and necessary to end the pandemic. There's no other way to produce vaccines at the scale we need.

Biden administration officials say that they are "actively exploring" using the Defense Production Act to license the vaccine to generic manufacturers. That is encouraging, but with the new and more contagious COVID-19 variants quickly gaining steam, time is of the essence.

We could face another global shutdown from a new vaccine-resistant variant of the virus unless we successfully arrest the pandemic with an effective vaccine today.

The government should never have granted Moderna a monopoly over our vaccine. The best time to license the people's vaccine to generic manufacturers was months ago. The second best time is right now.

Alex Lawson is the executive director of Social Security Works, a nonprofit advocacy group that supports expanding benefits to address America's growing retirement security crisis. Lawson has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets and is a frequent guest host of "The Thom Hartmann Program," one of the top progressive radio shows in the country.

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Blood on Trump's hands: The nursing home crisis is the president’s fault

The very first COVID-19 outbreak in the US took place in a Kirkland, Washington nursing home more than four months ago, at the end of February. At least 37 people died.

Keep reading... Show less

Inside Trump’s brazen plot to gut Social Security

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the policy Donald Trump is fixated on has nothing to do with ramping up testing, getting protective equipment to workers, or sending resources to nursing homes where tens of thousands of seniors are dying of COVID-19. Instead, he’s obsessed with cutting payroll taxes, Social Security’s dedicated revenue.

Keep reading... Show less

We already paid for COVID-19 treatments — we cannot let Gilead make us pay again

Update, March 25, 2:45 p.m.: Gilead has renounced the benefits of orphan designation, but still retains other patents that give them a five-year monopoly on remdesivir.

Keep reading... Show less

Joe Biden has a disastrous history on Social Security that Democrats should fear

Recently, a newsletter from the Bernie Sanders campaign laid out Joe Biden’s long record of supporting cuts to Social Security. The website PolitiFact weighed in on one part of that record, a speech Biden gave in 2018 in which he expressed enthusiasm for former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plans to cut Social Security.

Keep reading... Show less

The Trump Administration just declared war on social security

American workers contribute to Social Security with every paycheck. When they do, they are earning comprehensive insurance protections. Social Security insures against the loss of wages due to old age, disability, or (for the surviving family of a worker) death. While Social Security is best known as a retirement program, disability and survivor’s benefits are equally essential.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Bernie Sanders is backing Cory Booker’s plan to tackle Big Pharma’s soaring prices

Why are drug prices outrageously high? Corruption. Most of it is legal corruption, but what else do you call millions of dollars spent bending the political system for personal benefit?

Keep reading... Show less

Lower Drug Prices Now: The power of the pharmaceutical industry is entrenched in our political system. Here's how you can fight back

Across 34 states today, the American people had one unified message for their elected representatives in Washington, D.C.: lower drug prices now.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Trump’s hired gun in charge of Medicare and Medicaid should resign — immediately

From Tom Price’s $1 million in private plane travel to Scott Pruitt’s attempt to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise, officials in the Trump administration appear to be having a competition with each other to see who can be the most nakedly corrupt. Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is a top contender. Price and Pruitt are two of the many Trump officials who have already resigned in disgrace. It’s past time for Verma to do the same.

Keep reading... Show less

How Medicare for all will drastically lower prescription drug prices — by taking on Big Pharma’s greed

Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) recently introduced Medicare for All Act of 2019 is a powerful and comprehensive plan to make health care a right for every American. Drastically lowering the prices of prescription drugs, while ensuring that patients are always able to get the medications they need, is an essential part of that plan.

Keep reading... Show less

This Democratic Ad Brilliantly Captures the Central Argument for Voting Out Republicans

Mitch McConnell recently went on TV and said in no uncertain terms that the Republican plan was to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A new Priorities USA Ad, “Big Cuts,” shows exactly what every Democrat should be saying over and over again between now and November 6. If Republicans keep control of Congress, they will use the $2 trillion cost of their tax handout to the wealthy as an excuse to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Keep reading... Show less

America’s Seniors Are Drowning in Lies by Trump and Republicans to Boost Big Pharma

Medicare is a very popular program, far more so than for-profit insurance. It’s also highly effective—the senior poverty rate has dropped dramatically since it was created. But it is not perfect, which is why we must improve and expand the existing system. We must add vision, dental and hearing coverage. We must get rid of out-of-pocket expenses. 

Keep reading... Show less

Donald Trump and the Republican Party Work Every Day to 'Destroy Social Security'

During Donald Trump’s campaign for president, he promised over and over again to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Now, in the lead-up to the midterm elections, Trump is claiming to have kept that promise. Completely in character for a president who doesn’t let a day go by without lying, he recently falsely claimed, “We’re saving Social Security, the Democrats will destroy Social Security. We’re saving Medicare. The Dems, you look at what they’re doing. They want to destroy Medicare.”

Keep reading... Show less

Trumpcare Would be a Disaster for Tens of Millions of Americans, Especially Those Over Fifty

While cable news has been transfixed by James Comey and Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell has been busy. He is preparing to ram the disastrous health care repeal bill that House Republicans passed last month through the Senate and down the throats of the American people. McConnell isn’t holding hearings on the bill where Senate members get to debate openly and hear testimony from experts. Instead, Senate Republicans are writing the bill in secret. The public, the press, and their Democratic colleagues are all in the dark about the contents of a bill that would reshape one-sixth of the American economy. The only people they are bothering to get input from? The for-profit insurance industry.

Keep reading... Show less

Paul Ryan Plans To Use Trump’s Chaos To Destroy Medicare, Medicaid And Social Security

Paul Ryan always gets more credit than he deserves.

Keep reading... Show less

Bottomless Big Pharma Greed Drives Heroin and Opiate Addiction Across America

In October 2015, residents of New Hampshire ranked drug abuse as the most important issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. They ranked it as more important than jobs and the economy.

Keep reading... Show less

Rand Paul Comes Up with a Pathetic Lie to Attack Sanders' Plan to Expand Social Security Benefits

It is an outrage that Rand Paul is lying to the American people about Social Security.

Keep reading... Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.