The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

COVID-19 Vaccine:
Public Dollars Go to Private Profits

Jan 18, 2021

The big pharmaceutical companies, starting with Pfizer and Moderna, which are selling the COVID-19 vaccines, are expected to make between $60 and $80 billion in profits in 2021, with unprecedented profit margins reaching above 60%. These profit levels are expected because governments handed over taxpayers’ money to these companies through contracts signed during the pandemic.

These companies claim that they deserve this bonanza since they are the ones working hard and taking the risks. But there is no grain of truth to that, since the actual research and development of these vaccines were carried out by scientists working in universities and government institutes over many decades. In other words, paid by public money, the taxes they took from us.

The efficacy of the current vaccines was validated through processes paid for by taxes. Governments and other public institutions shouldered the bulk of the risk, financing the advance production of experimental vaccines while clinical trials were still going on.

These clinical trials were achieved thanks to the trial volunteers, doctors, FedEx and UPS workers making deliveries, nurses donning PPE to administer the shots ... all the way down to the first person being vaccinated! Yet, pharmaceutical companies and their executives have been the only ones that profited handsomely from the vaccine process.

The CEO of Pfizer, Bourla, sold more than $5 million worth of his shares the same day he announced that they had come up with the first vaccine. Pfizer has already made an estimated $975 million from the vaccine in 2020, according to Morgan Stanley.

Considering that $100 billion in sales are expected to be made from the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, this vaccine lets these companies make a real killing. Since it is unlikely that these vaccines will 100% cure or eradicate the COVID-19 virus, there will be more vaccination programs, with enormous profits extracted well into the future.