Pfizer just announced that a potential coronavirus vaccine has proved promising in recent trials.1 This brings hope that an end to the pandemic could be in sight -- but only if everyone can get the vaccine when it's ready and safe.
But Donald Trump has been setting up Big Pharma to gouge the public for a coronavirus vaccine. One company is planning to charge three times as much money for it as they would for other vaccines.2
Even as Trump leaves office, it's crucial that Congress step up to make a vaccine free for everyone.
Sign the petition: A coronavirus vaccine should be free for everyone!
You may have heard reports that the coronavirus vaccine should already be free.3 But that probably will not apply to any of the 30 million Americans who are uninsured, who will have to pay money they may not have in order to get the vaccine.
From a justice and equity perspective, it's wrong to make anyone pay to get a coronavirus vaccine. Doing so will also reduce the effectiveness of a vaccine by ensuring fewer people receive it.
As with so many broken aspects of American life, the pandemic has laid bare inequalities felt by communities of color. African Americans have died from COVID-19 at twice the rate of any other racial group.4 Two-thirds of Latino households have lost jobs or wages due to the pandemic recession. The Navajo Nation has the highest per capita infection rate in the nation.5
Communities of color—hardest hit by the virus and accompanying recession—cannot be shut out of the solution. Nor can anyone who is uninsured or unable to afford a copay. The pandemic affects us all. It will only end when we're all protected.
Sign the petition: A COVID-19 vaccine must be available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
1. The Guardian, "Hopes rise for end of pandemic as Pfizer says vaccine is 90% effective," November 9, 2020.
2. CBS News, "Moderna charging far more for its experimental coronavirus vaccine than rival treatments," August 6, 2020.
3. Healthline, "How Much Will You Pay for a COVID-19 Vaccine? Here’s What We Know," August 11, 2020.
4. Americans for Tax Fairness, "$2.6 Trillion in Untaxed Offshore Profits of U.S. Multinational Corporations," November 5, 2017.
5. Inequality.org, "Racial Economic Inequality," July, 2020.
6. Salt Lake Tribune, "Navajo Nation hit hardest by coronavirus," June 1, 2020.