Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca — three of the world’s top coronavirus vaccine manufacturers — have paid out a combined $26 billion in dividends and stock buybacks to their shareholders over the past year, a sum that could fully fund the cost of inoculating Africa’s entire 1.3 billion-person population.
That’s according to an analysis released Thursday morning by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of advocacy organizations campaigning to end massive inequities in the distribution of life-saving coronavirus vaccines.
Unveiled just ahead of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s annual shareholder meetings on Thursday, the new report notes that Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are projecting revenues of $33.5 billion this year from their mRNA vaccines, which have largely been sold to rich nations.
The new analysis estimates that Pfizer and BioNTech received a total of $2.5 billion in public funding for their vaccine, and that Pfizer has paid out $8.44 billion in dividends over the past 12 months. Johnson & Johnson, which received $1.5 billion in public money, paid out $10.5 billion in dividends. Maaza Seyoum, who is leading the People’s Vaccine Alliance’s Africa campaign, called on President Joe Biden to “put the health of all of humanity and shared economic prosperity ahead of the private profits of a few corporations” by ending U.S. opposition to the proposed intellectual property waiver.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction