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Friday, April 19, 2024
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HomeCOVID-19A deal with the devil of Moderna

A deal with the devil of Moderna

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A PRESS release slipped out just before Christmas on the government website outlines, in the banal bureaucratese of such documents, a truly dreadful lurch towards medical totalitarianism

A ten-year ‘partnership’ has been ‘cemented between Moderna and the UK government’ to produce up to 250million doses of mRNA vaccine in a purpose-built plant to start construction this year. There has been no discussion whatever in Parliament about the wisdom of such a step.

Announcing it on December 22, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay said: ‘This time two years ago, the UK was the first country in the world to administer a Covid vaccine outside of a clinical trial. Since then, countless lives have been saved across the world and more than 150million doses have been given in the UK alone.

‘It is vital we invest in fighting future variants of this disease as well as other deadly viruses that are circulating, such as seasonal flu and RSV, and this partnership with Moderna will also strengthen our ability to respond to any future pandemics.’

Richard Torbett, Chief Executive, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said: ‘This partnership is fantastic news for British manufacturing and UK-based science and research.’

The deal will include running clinical trials in the UK and Moderna will fund grants for UK universities, including PhD places and research programmes.

It was initialled last June, when then Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘We are bringing supercharged, homegrown vaccines right to our shores . . . Our investment will guarantee jabs in arms against some of the toughest viruses out there, bringing us to the forefront of the fight against future threats. We’ve all seen what vaccines can do, and today’s partnership brings us one step closer to finding cures for some of the most devastating diseases.’

On the same occasion the then Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘mRNA is a truly transformational technology and we have seen its life-saving power during the pandemic.’

The aim, replicating with terrible predictability the hugely profitable Covid playbook, is to ‘go from variant to vaccine in 100 days’. The usual gagging orders on details of this deal-with-the-devil are in place ‘for reasons of commercially sensitivity’. After all, they wouldn’t want us to find out who is in line to profit. A veritable money-tsunami is on the way.

Readers may recall a 2020 article in the Guardian in which Rishi Sunak, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, ‘refused to say if he’d profit from a Moderna partnership’. This, in spite of the fact that he was a founding partner of the Theleme group, registered in the tax haven of the Caymans, which at that time had a £500million investment in Moderna. Sunak left the firm in 2013, and it is not known whether he retained any investment in the Theleme fund.

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Edward Fitzgibbon
Edward Fitzgibbon
Edward Fitzgibbon is an old-fashioned grammar school boy, lutenist and restorer of antiques. He is highly resistant to political correctness.

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