Any vaccine used in Australia must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and registered as safe and effective by the regulator. Beforehand, the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunization will advise that priority vaccination groups against COVID 19 are those at increased risk of exposure (e.g. B health professionals and the elderly, the elderly and people working in critical societal services). Although members of Congress, interest associations and journalists have been questioning the contracts for months, HHS did not begin publishing the purchase contracts until October 25, starting with the $1.5 billion contract with Moderna. It has been heavily edited and even already excluded from public information. „Despite repeated assurances from heads of state that any COVID-19 vaccine will be a global public good and despite claims that we see the industry at its best, the reality is that at this stage it is clear that Pharma cannot be trusted to act in the interests of public health, even in these unprecedented times.“ said Roz Scourse, political advisor for MSF`s access campaign. „Even though billions of dollars of public and taxpayers` money are at stake for these vaccines and billions of lives, we remain in the dark, so we strive to determine critical information such as the price and supply of future COVID 19 vaccines, and what it means for equitable access.“ Geneva – According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), governments urgently need to demand transparency from pharmaceutical companies on all COVID 19 vaccine licensing agreements, as well as on the costs and data of clinical trials. The appeal comes because billions of dollars of taxpayers` money has been spent on developing these potential vaccines, and the recently disclosed agreements by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca show worrying conditions. They were also concerned that contracts with vaccine manufacturers would not be subject to public records because they were issued by a third party, and the Agency had not so far released them. At least two non-profit organizations, including Public Citizen, filed a complaint after their requests for documents went unanswered for months. The government estimates that both vaccines will be available in Australia from early to mid-2021, provided they are safe and effective and approved by the country`s regulator. „This is a major problem that allows the government to allow another qualified company to produce the vaccine in the event of a shortage,“ says Ardizzone.
The day after Pfizer announced the more than 90% efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine, rival Novavax announced its $1.6 billion contract on Tuesday. While the De Novavax treaty has more taxpayer-friendly patent and data rights than some of Operation Warp Speed`s other contracts, Love says, the government should have included something extraordinary that could allow the U.S. government to hold vaccine patents. These have not yet been included in any of the contracts that have been made public. Instead, the usual rules of taxpayer protection have been weakened. Operation Warp Speed`s investment is „virtually unheard of“ in the pharmaceutical industry, Sarpatwari says. The government funds the production and purchase of vaccines before it knows whether these vaccines are safe and effective, so that the taxpayer also assumes the full risk. That is why he says he would see the treaty as some kind of explicit price restriction that goes beyond the immediate pandemic.