Are COVID-19 Vaccines to help humanity or to enrich the few?

29/04/2022

COVID-19 Vaccines. These are the fluctuations of the stocks regarding Pfizer and Moderna. I always like to ask questions when I don’t have the answer, so here I am asking you if you see a pattern? I am here asking you if conspiracy theories have some sort of hidden truth? I’m here wondering if the government and major companies are playing the masses for their own gain?

There are a few things that simply don’t add up. All companies that produce vaccines and components to create the vaccine are invulnerable to any lawsuit no matter VAERS effects, removing all liabilities and all responsibilities from the companies and their subsidiaries.
What does all this mean?
Well we all know that Wall Street is what moves the world. Power and money have always gone hand-in-hand, so if 1 plus 1 makes 2, the answer is clear that a blanket immunity will make their stocks skyrocket. We all know that Wall Street is basically a series of scared babies that at the first sign of  losing their gains, a crash is all that they know what to do; drop anything that is not profitable.

You can’t sue Pfizer or Moderna if you have severe Covid vaccine side effects. The government likely won’t compensate you for damages either

If you experience severe side effects after getting a Covid vaccine, lawyers tell CNBC there is basically no one to blame in a U.S. court of law. 

The federal government has granted companies like Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines.

“It is very rare for a blanket immunity law to be passed,” said Rogge Dunn, a Dallas labor and employment attorney. “Pharmaceutical companies typically aren’t offered much liability protection under the law.“

You also can’t sue the Food and Drug Administration for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use, nor can you hold your employer accountable if they mandate inoculation as a condition of employment.

Congress created a fund specifically to help cover lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses for people who have been irreparably harmed by a “covered countermeasure,” such as a vaccine. But it is difficult to use and rarely pays. Attorneys say it has compensated less than 6% of the claims filed in the last decade.

Immune to lawsuits

In February, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The 2005 law empowers the HHS secretary to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing critical medical supplies, such as vaccines and treatments, unless there’s “willful misconduct” by the companyThe protection lasts until 2024.

That means that for the next four years, these companies “cannot be sued for money damages in court” over injuries related to the administration or use of products to treat or protect against Covid

HHS declined CNBC’s request for an interview.

 

Dunn thinks a big reason for the unprecedented protection has to do with the expedited timeline. 

“When the government said, ‘We want you to develop this four or five times faster than you normally do,’ most likely the manufacturers said to the government, ‘We want you, the government, to protect us from multimillion-dollar lawsuits,’” said Dunn.

The quickest vaccine ever developed was for mumps. It took four years and was licensed in 1967. Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine was developed and cleared for emergency use in eight months — a fact that has fueled public mistrust of the coronavirus inoculation in the U.S.

Roughly 4 in 10 Americans say they would “definitely” or “probably” not get vaccinated, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. While this is lower than it was two months ago, it still points to a huge trust gap.

But drugmakers like Pfizer continue to reassure the public no shortcuts were taken. “This is a vaccine that was developed without cutting corners,” CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday. “This is a vaccine that is getting approved by all authorities in the world. That should say something.”

The legal immunity granted to pharmaceutical companies doesn’t just guard them against lawsuits. Dunn said it helps lower the cost of the immunizations.

“The government doesn’t want people suing the companies making the Covid vaccine. Because then, the manufacturers would probably charge the government a higher price per person per dose,” Dunn explained. 

Pfizer and Moderna did not return CNBC’s request for comment on their legal protections.

Is anyone liable?

Remember, vaccine manufacturers aren’t the ones approving their product for mass distribution. That is the job of the FDA.

Which begs the question, can you sue the U.S. government if you have an extraordinarily bad reaction to a vaccine?

Again, the answer is no. 

“You can’t sue the FDA for approving or disapproving a drug,” said Dorit Reiss, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law. “That’s part of its sovereign immunity.”

Sovereign immunity came from the king, explains Dunn, referring to British law before the American Revolution. “You couldn’t sue the king. So, America has sovereign immunity, and even each state has sovereign immunity.”

There are limited exceptions, but Dunn said he doesn’t think they provide a viable legal path to hold the federal government responsible for a Covid vaccine injury.

Bringing workers back to the office in a post-Covid world also carries with it a heightened fear of liability for employers. Lawyers across the country say their corporate clients are reaching out to them to ask whether they can require employees to get immunized.

Dunn’s clients who run businesses serving customers in person or on site are most interested in mandating a Covid vaccine for staff.

“They view it as a selling point,” Dunn said. “It’s particularly important for restaurants, bars, gyms and salons. My clients in that segment of the service industry are looking hard at making it mandatory, as a sales point to their customers.” 

While this is in part a public relations tactic, it is legally within an employer’s rights to impose such a requirement. 

“Requiring a vaccine is a health and safety work rule, and employers can do that,” said Reiss.

There are a few notable exceptions. If a work force is unionized, the collective bargaining agreement may require negotiating with the union before mandating a vaccine.

Anti-discrimination laws provide some protections as well. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, workers who don’t want to be vaccinated for medical reasons are eligible to request an exemption. If taking the vaccine is a violation of a “sincerely held” religious belief, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would potentially provide a way to opt out.

Should none of these exemptions apply, employees may have some legal recourse if they suffer debilitating side effects following a work-mandated Covid inoculation.

Attorneys say claims would most likely be routed through worker’s compensation programs and treated as an on-the-job injury. 

“But there are significant limits or caps on the damages an employee can recover,” said Dunn. He added that it would likely be difficult to prove.

Mandatory vaccination protocols, however, may not happen until the FDA formally approves the vaccines and grants Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna a license to sell them, which will take several more months of data to show their safety and effectiveness.

“An emergency use authorization is not a license,” said Reiss. “There’s a legal question as to whether you can mandate an emergency observation. The language in the act is somewhat unclear on that.”

$50,000 a year

The government has created a way for people to recover some damages should something go wrong following immunization.

In addition to the legal immunity, the PREP Act established the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), which provides benefits to eligible individuals who suffer serious injury from one of the protected companies.

The little-known government program has been around for a decade, and it is managed by an agency under HHS. This fund typically only deals with vaccines you probably would never get, like the H1N1 and anthrax vaccines

If a case for compensation through the CICP is successful, the program provides up to $50,000 per year in unreimbursed lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses. It won’t cover legal fees or anything to compensate for pain and suffering. 

It is also capped at the death benefit of $370,376, which is the most a surviving family member receives in the event that a Covid vaccine proves to be fatal.

But experts specializing in vaccine law say it is difficult to navigate. “This government compensation program is very hard to use,” said Reiss. “The bar for compensation is very high.”

Also worrisome to some vaccine injury lawyers is the fact that the CICP has rejected a majority of the compensation requests made since the program began 10 years ago. Of the 499 claims filedthe CICP has compensated only 29 claims, totaling more than $6 million. 

David Carney, vice president of the Vaccine Bar Association, said the CICP might deny a claim for a variety of reasons. “One reason might be that the medical records don’t support a claim,” said Carney, who regularly deals with vaccine injury cases. “We have to litigate a lot of really complex issues … and provide a medical basis for why the injury occurred.”

Proving an injury was a direct result of the Covid vaccine could be difficult, according to Carney. “It’s not as simple as saying. ‘Hey, I got a Covid treatment, and now I have an injury.’ There is a lot of burden of proof there.”

There is also a strict one-year statute, meaning that all claims have to be filed within 12 months of receiving the vaccine.

“People who are harmed by a Covid vaccine deserve to be compensated fast and generously,” said Reiss. “The PREP Act doesn’t do that.”

Lawyers tell CNBC that it would make more sense for Covid vaccine injuries to instead be routed through another program under the HHS called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which handles claims for 16 routine vaccines. Known colloquially as “vaccine court,” the program paid on about 70% of petitions adjudicated by the court from 2006 to 2018.

And since it began considering claims in 1988, the VICP has paid approximately $4.4 billion in total compensation. That dwarfs the CICP’s roughly $6 million in paid benefits over the life of the program.

The VICP also gives you more time to file your claim. You have three years from the date of the first symptom to file for compensation.

“The VICP allows for recovery of pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, along with medical expenses and lost wages, if any,” said Michael Maxwell, a lawyer who practices in the areas of business litigation and personal injury. “Under the CICP, it’s only lost wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses. That’s it, unless there’s a death.”

The Covid-19 vaccines, however, aren’t on the list of eligible vaccines.

Reiss said the best fix would be to change VICP’s rulebook to add Covid vaccines to its list of covered inoculations. “That will require legislative change. I hope that legislative change happens.”

COVID-19 Vaccines and Money - INSPADES NEWS - Creative Spades © Sergio David Spadavecchia

pfizer

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. It researches, develops, and manufactures biopharmaceutical products across a range of different areas, including oncology, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases, immunology, rare diseases, and vaccines. In collaboration with BioNTech SE (BNTX), a German-based biotechnology company, Pfizer developed an mRNA-based vaccine against COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been administered to millions of people in the U.S. and abroad, and sales may increase further as the U.S. and other nations administer booster shots to further protect people from the virus.

 

The top shareholders of Pfizer are Frank A. D’amelio, John Douglas Young, Mikael Dolsten, Vanguard Group Inc., BlackRock Inc. (BLK), and State Street Corp. (STT).

 

On Aug. 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is now being marketed as Comirnaty. Previously, the vaccine was only approved under emergency use authorization (EUA). It became the first vaccine against COVID-19 to gain full approval from the FDA. The vaccine continues to be available under EUA, including for individuals between the ages of 12 and 15.1

 

Pfizer’s 12-month trailing net income and revenue are $13.2 billion and $51.6 billion, respectively. The company’s market cap is about $248.4 billion. These financial data are as of Sept. 16, 2021.2

Top 3 Individual Insider Shareholders

The shares owned by individual insider shareholders are those that are held through direct ownership. Shares mentioned in this section do not include shares held indirectly nor shares accessible through stock options. Company insiders must file an SEC Form 4 every time they buy or sell an amount of the company’s stock that is deemed to be material.

Frank A. D’amelio

Frank A. D’amelio owns a total of 483,188 Pfizer shares, representing 0.01% of the company’s total shares outstanding. D’amelio is chief financial officer (CFO) and executive vice president of Global Supply. He oversees the company’s corporate finance functions, which include audit, treasury, tax, insurance, business finance and analytics, and more. D’amelio was responsible for leading Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, King Pharmaceuticals, Hospira Inc., Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Medivation Inc. He also led the spinoff of Zoetis, the company’s animal health business, as well as the sale of its nutrition business. Before joining Pfizer in 2007, D’amelio worked for Alcatel-Lucent as chief administrative officer and senior executive vice president of Integration.

 

John Douglas Young

John Douglas Young owns a total of 461,761 Pfizer shares, representing 0.01% of the company’s total shares outstanding. Young has been with Pfizer for more than 30 years and is the company’s group president and chief business officer. Prior to his current role, he was group president of Pfizer Innovative Health, which included six separate business units focused on developing innovative medicines and vaccines. Young was also responsible for expanding Pfizer’s footprint in emerging markets in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Before that, he was group president for Pfizer Essential Health. Young also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Consumer Healthcare joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK), as well as on the board of Johnson Controls International PLC (JCI).

 

Mikael Dolsten

Mikael Dolsten owns a total of 137,727 Pfizer shares, representing fewer than 0.01% of the company’s total shares outstanding. Dolsten is Pfizer’s chief scientific officer and president of Worldwide Research, Development and Medical (WRDM). His focus is on developing scientific breakthroughs in small-molecule medicines, biotherapeutics, gene therapies, and vaccines. As president of WRDM, Dolsten oversees all of Pfizer’s research units, including Oncology, Internal Medicine, Inflammation & Immunology, Vaccines, Rare Disease, and the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. Before joining Pfizer in 2009, he served as the president of Wyeth Research, and before that, as executive vice president and head of Worldwide Research at Boehringer Ingelheim. Dolsten is the inventor on several patents and has published approximately 150 articles in international journals.

 

Top 3 Institutional Shareholders

Institutional investors hold between 65-66% of Pfizer’s total shares outstanding.

Vanguard Group Inc.

Vanguard Group owns 456.2 million shares of Pfizer, representing 8.1% of total shares outstanding, according to the company’s 13F filing for the period ending June 30, 2021. The company is primarily a mutual fund and ETF management company with about $7.2 trillion in global assets under management (AUM). The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) is one of the company’s largest exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with about $256 billion in AUM. Pfizer comprises nearly 0.7% of VOO’s holdings.

 

BlackRock Inc.

BlackRock owns 407.0 million shares of Pfizer, representing 7.3% of total shares outstanding, according to the company’s 13F filing for the period ending June 30, 2021. The company is primarily a mutual fund and ETF management company with approximately $8.7 trillion in AUM.13 The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) is among one of BlackRock’s largest ETFs with approximately $305 billion in AUM. Pfizer comprises nearly 0.7% of IVV’s holdings.

 

State Street Corp.

State Street owns 278.6 million shares of Pfizer, representing 5.0% of total shares outstanding, according to the company’s 13F filing for the period ending June 30, 2021. The company is primarily a manager of mutual funds, ETFs and other assets with approximately $3.9 trillion in AUM.15 The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is among one of State Street’s largest ETFs with approximately $410 billion in AUM. Pfizer comprises nearly 0.7% of SPY’s holdings.

Commission-Free Stock Trading
Investing in the stock market with trusted account security doesn’t have to break the bank. Wealthsimple Trade’s commission-free stock trading on Canadian stocks and ETF’s allows you to invest according to your values without having to pay high fees. With unlimited trades and no account minimums, you can search and track stocks easily with your watchlist. Find out how to safely invest with just a few taps and start trading today.

pfizer

Top Moderna Shareholders

Moderna Inc. (MRNA) is a biotechnology company that develops medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), which transfers genetic information to the cellular machinery that makes proteins to sustain life. The company develops medicines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases. Its revenue and market value have skyrocketed during the past few quarters after winning Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the vaccine it developed to protect against COVID-19.

 

The top shareholders of Moderna are Robert S. Langer, Stéphane Bancel, Noubar B. Afeyan, Baillie Gifford & Company, and Flagship Pioneering Inc.

 

In mid-March 2021, Moderna began testing its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 months to 11 years in the U.S. and Canada. Currently, the company’s vaccine is authorized for use in adults aged 18 and older.

 

Moderna’s 12-month trailing net income and revenue are -$747.1 million and $803.4 million, respectively. The company’s market cap is about $59.4 billion. These financial data are as of April 13, 2021.

 

Top 3 Individual Insider Shareholders

The shares owned by individual insider shareholders are those that are held through direct ownership. Shares mentioned in this section do not include shares held indirectly nor shares accessible through stock options. Company insiders must file an SEC Form 4 every time they buy or sell an amount of the company’s stock that is deemed to be material.

 

Robert S. Langer

Robert S. Langer owns a total of 11.5 million Moderna shares, representing 2.9% of the company’s total shares outstanding. Langer serves on the board of directors. He is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has about 800 issued and pending patents. He also served as a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board between 1995 and 2002, and as its chair from 1999 to 2002. He has won numerous awards, including the Charles Stark Draper Prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field of engineering. Langer has a net worth of $1.9 billion.

Stéphane Bancel

Stéphane Bancel owns a total of 6.4 million Moderna shares, representing 1.6% of the company’s total shares outstanding.4 Bancel currently serves as chief executive officer (CEO) and as a member of the board of directors. Since joining Moderna in 2011, he has led the company’s expansion, partly by raising close to $2 billion through equity financing and licensing collaborations. Before Moderna, Bancel was CEO of bioMérieux SA, a French-based biotechnology company. Prior to that, he worked in numerous roles at drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY).5 Bancel has a net worth of $4.9 billion.7

 

Noubar B. Afeyan

Noubar B. Afeyan owns a total of 2.1 million Moderna shares, representing 0.5% of the company’s total shares outstanding.4 Afeyan is one of the company’s co-founders and is chair of the board. He is also the founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering Inc., a venture capital firm that invests in the pharmaceutical, electronic, and medical devices sectors. He has co-founded and helped to build more than 40 life science and technology startups and serves on the boards of several Flagship companies as well as Moderna.5 Afeyan has a net worth of $2.1 billion.8

 

Top 3 Institutional Shareholders

Institutional investors hold between 43-51% of Moderna’s total shares outstanding.910 Institutional investors — institutional investment managers with at least $100 million in assets under management (AUM) — must file an SEC Form 13F every quarter to disclose their equity holdings. Individual investors may be considered institutional investors if they acquire 5% or more of a company’s shares, thus requiring them to file either a Schedule 13D or Schedule 13G form.

 

Baillie Gifford & Co.

Baillie Gifford owns 44.7 million shares of Moderna, representing 11.2% of total shares outstanding, according to the company’s 13G filing for the period ending Feb. 1, 2021.11 The U.K.-based company is a global investment management firm that provides portfolio management, consulting, financial planning, and investment supervisory services. Baillie Gifford has $445.3 billion in AUM and manages a range of mutual funds.1213 Moderna is among the top ten holdings of the firm’s Baillie Gifford Positive Change Equities Fund, comprising about 5.5% of the portfolio.14

 

Flagship Pioneering Inc.

Flagship Pioneering owns 30.9 million shares of Moderna, representing 7.7% of total shares outstanding, according to the company’s 13F filing for the period ending Dec. 31, 2020.11 As mentioned above, Flagship is a venture capital firm. Its team of experienced scientists, entrepreneurs, and operational executives seeks to identify and invest in early-stage and growth-stage companies that could benefit from economies of scale.15 In the company’s last reported 13F filling, it held $5.5 billion in managed 13F securities. Moderna was its largest holding, comprising 58.7% of its portfolio.16

 

Stéphane Bancel

Stéphane Bancel, as an institutional investor, owns 28.7 million shares of Moderna, representing 7.2% of total shares outstanding, according to his 13G filing for the period ending Dec. 31, 2020.11 Bancel’s institutional holdings include shares of which he has direct ownership, as noted in the individual insider section above. 

According to his 13G, Bancel has direct ownership of about 6.5 million shares of Moderna, slightly above the figure mentioned earlier. The difference can be explained by the difference in timing between his most recent 13G filing and Form 4 filing. Form 4’s are usually more recent since they must be filed whenever a material amount of shares are either bought or sold. Bancel’s institutional holdings also include shares of Moderna that are held indirectly through OCHA LLC and Boston Biotech Ventures LLC, both of which Bancel is the majority unit holder and sole managing member. 

OCHA directly owns 7.6 million Moderna shares while Boston Biotech owns about 9.1 million shares. Additionally, Bancel’s institutional holdings include 5.2 million shares issuable upon exercise of share options and approximately 0.2 million shares held by a trust for the benefit of his family. Because Bancel is in a position where he has sole voting power over these 28.7 million shares, regardless of whether they are held indirectly or not, he is required to disclose these holdings. The SEC requires high levels of disclosure and transparency as it aims to protect the integrity of capital markets for the benefit of all investors.

world news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get featured

The Creative-Thinker’s magazine.
Get Featured Today!

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to INSPADES NEWS

newsletter.

Become a Contributor

If you want to submit your story, get in touch with our editorial team at info@inspadesmag.com or click the button below: