- When the Omicron variant inevitably reared its head, a tiny group of investors and executives with Pfizer and Moderna gained over $10 billion in profits, and Moderna’s CEO added over $800 million to his personal coffers.
- “Pharmaceutical companies knew that grotesque levels of vaccine inequality would create prime conditions for new variants to emerge,” said Tim Bierley, pharma campaigner at Global Justice Now.
- “They let Covid-19 spread unabated in low and middle-income countries. And now the same pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create. It’s utterly obscene.”
“In the first week that the Omicron variant sparked global fears of a new wave of infections, a small handful of investors and executives with Pfizer and Moderna—currently the world’s preeminent makers of Covid-19 vaccines—saw over $10 billion in new wealth, with the Moderna’s CEO alone adding over $800 million to his personal fortune.
Based on data compiled by Global Justice Now and released Saturday, “just 8 top Pfizer and Moderna shareholders” added a combined $10.31 billion to their fortunes last week after stock prices soared in response to the emergence of Omicron. According to a statement by the group:
Moderna’s shares skyrocketed after the announcement and settled at $310.61/share on Wednesday 1 December, up 13.61% from $273.39/share since Wednesday 24 November, the day before the announcement. Pfizer’s shares rose by 7.41% from $50.91/share to $54.68/share.
Moderna’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, personally became more than $824m richer in the week after the announcement, with the value of his shares rising from $6,052,522,978 to $6,876,528,630. He sold off 10,000 shares for $319 each on 26 November, the day after the variant was announced, cashing out $3.19 million.
At close of business on Tuesday, Bancel’s shares had grown by $1.7 billion since the announcement, before falling after the company lost a legal dispute over patents.
Bancel has refused to share the recipe for Moderna’s vaccine with the World Health Organisation to help scale-up manufacturing of mRNA vaccines through its new hub in South Africa. WHO scientists are now trying to reverse-engineer the vaccine. His company is also waging a legal battle to erase the role of massive public funding and public scientists in developing the jab…”
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