Just Sociology

Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine: Balancing Progress and Inequities

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several pharmaceutical companies have been working tirelessly to develop a vaccine. Moderna, an American biotechnology company, is one of the few companies that have developed a successful COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna’s vaccine has been approved for emergency use, and it is being distributed globally. However, as with any new development in the medical field, there are both advantages and disadvantages, which this academic article will explore.

Capacity to Produce and Sales to Rich Governments

Moderna has been praised for its ability to produce its COVID-19 vaccine in such large quantities. The company has promised to produce over one billion shots of the vaccine in 2021.

However, the primary concern is that most of these vaccines have already been sold to the US government and the European Union. Moderna has already signed a contract with the US government, totaling $8 billion, for 400 million vaccine doses, while the European Union has secured up to 80 million doses.

Unfortunately, this means that poorer countries may face challenges gaining access to the vaccine. Given the cost of the vaccine, which is estimated to be around $32 to $37 per dose, it may be difficult for these countries to afford it.

Furthermore, the vaccine has been reserved for richer nations, leaving developing nations to fend for themselves. As a consequence, poorer countries may face prolonged battles against the COVID-19 virus compared to their more affluent counterparts.

Limited Access for Developing Countries

Although Moderna’s vaccine technology is promising and innovative, it has proven to be a double-edged sword. While Moderna has made tremendous progress with their COVID-19 vaccine, this technology’s cost adds complexity to the issue of vaccine distribution.

The limited access to Moderna’s vaccine for developing countries is a significant limitation that must be addressed to ensure equitable treatment for all. While prices may decrease in the future, until more affordable versions of the vaccine become available, poorer countries may struggle to gain access to this life-saving vaccine.

Funding and Profit

One critical factor in the development of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was the amount of funding received from the public sector. Moderna was granted $2.5 billion by the US government and an additional $8 billion by foreign governments.

While the company’s progress in developing an effective vaccine may be credited to their research team and development efforts, the substantial investment from public money certainly played a vital role in the vaccine’s success. With such a significant investment from the public sector, one would assume that there would be little to no profit incentive for Moderna as a private company.

However, this is not the case. Moderna’s sales projections for their COVID-19 vaccine alone total up to $18.4 billion, potentially allowing Moderna to turn a tidy profit.

This raises ethical concerns as to whether it should mainly be public research institutions and not-for-profit organizations that take on the task of vaccine research and development.

Stock Value Increase

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine’s success has had a tremendous impact on the company’s stock value. The announcement of the vaccine’s effectiveness in late 2020 generated widespread optimism among market investors.

As a result, Moderna’s stock value has quintupled in the past year. With such a rapid rise in the stock value, executives at Moderna have taken the opportunity to cash-out significant shares of their own stocks, leading to additional questions regarding business practices.

To conclude, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has brought hope to many individuals worldwide, and its development is rightfully celebrated. However, this development also comes with reservations as to how Moderna conducts its business, particularly with respect to equitable vaccine distribution and profit incentives for private companies.

From the economic perspective, the development of a vaccine by a private company may lead to disparities and unequal access to vaccines, as seen with Moderna’s vaccine. The pandemic has brought many issues to the forefront of the global community’s attention, including the importance of equitable distribution of vaccines and the role public funding should play in vaccine research and development.

How we address these concerns will be critical in the way we approach future pandemics. Expansion:

Positive Role of Transnational Corporations

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the important role that transnational corporations (TNCs) can play in global development. TNCs like Moderna have used their resources and expertise to combat this global pandemic, developing a vaccine in record time.

Although they may be driven by profit, TNCs have the capacity to achieve great innovation and progress, thereby contributing to global development. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine development is an excellent example of how a TNC can leverage its resources to combat a global crisis.

The company’s research team was able to develop a vaccine in just eleven months, a remarkable feat. The company’s capacity to produce one billion vaccine shots per year is an outstanding accomplishment.

In less than a year, Moderna went from the laboratory to the production line, producing a vaccine that has already saved thousands of lives. Furthermore, TNCs like Moderna have the financial capacity to fund research and development of new medical technologies, which creates employment opportunities, generates economic growth in a country and positively affects global economic growth.

During the pandemic, medical workers, essential workers, governments and researchers have made significant contributions to combat COVID-19. Similarly, TNCs such as Moderna, who have developed a vaccine to fight the virus, have also demonstrated the pivotal role they can play in addressing global health crises.

Role of Governments and Neoliberal Theories

Neoliberal theory proposes that government involvement in business should be limited and markets left to operate without intervention. However, Moderna’s development of its COVID-19 vaccine demonstrates that government involvement can be critical, particularly during a pandemic or other global crisis.

In the case of Moderna, government funding, partnership and support were pivotal to their research and development. Governments have paid a significant amount of taxpayers’ money to Moderna, which raises questions regarding government agreements, transparency, and ethical conduct.

While critics have argued that the government should not fund private companies, it is clear that the COVID-19 crisis warranted such intervention. The US Government’s funding of Moderna has allowed for the development and distribution of the vaccine to occur with less financial burden on private citizens, mitigating the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it is also important to recognize that government intervention should not be a blanket approach. Ensuring that government intervention does not lead to over-reliance or monopolization of TNCs is essential for equitable access to medicine and greater competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

Global Pessimistic Theories of Globalization

Regarding global pessimist theories of globalization, it can be debated that rich and developed countries will always benefit more from scientific innovations and medical breakthroughs. In this case, developed countries like the United States and European Union have secured a large number of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine shots, while developing countries have struggled to gain equitable access to the vaccine.

While it’s important to recognize that the situation could have been much worse if there were no vaccine at all, the unequal distribution of the vaccine raises concerns about the ongoing inequities in the globalization process. Developed countries’ dominance over vaccine access is not a new issue, with concerns dating back to the H5N1 avian flu outbreak from 2005 to 2007, where it was found that 80% of the vaccine supply was reserved for developed nations.

Given the significant disruptions to the global economy, it is also essential to consider how poorer countries can access the vaccine to ensure that their economies can recover sooner. A donation or loan of vaccines to developing countries by developed nations could provide a start to address this issue properly.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the world, highlighting the critical role that technological innovation plays in global development. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has shown the potential of private companies and their research teams in developing life-saving drugs in the fight against pandemics.

However, it is also critical to recognize that equitable access to vaccines and other medical resources remains a significant challenge in the globalization process. Governments’ involvement and support have proven critical in bringing groundbreaking innovations to life.

However, there is a need to balance government intervention with private enterprise to ensure equitable access and fair competition. In the end, it is only through joint efforts by governments, TNCs, and public sector organizations that the world can combat future pandemics.

Concluding Paragraph:

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant challenges and sparked an enormous amount of research and development efforts worldwide. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has brought hope to many individuals and serves as an inspiration to other companies facing similar challenges.

However, the issues of equitable vaccine access and government involvement in business must be addressed to properly deal with global development. Through cooperation and joint efforts, we can achieve better health and economic outcomes, laying the foundation for future medical innovations.


Q: How many vaccine shots is Moderna capable of producing? A: Moderna is capable of producing over one billion shots of their COVID-19 vaccine per year.

Q: Will poorer countries have access to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine? A: Unfortunately, access to Moderna’s vaccine is currently limited for developing countries due to its cost, with some vaccines being sold only to richer nations.

Q: Has Moderna received any financial support from the public sector? A: Yes, Moderna has received a total of $10.5 billion in funding from the US government and foreign governments for research and development of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: What is the cost of Moderna’s vaccine per dose? A: The cost of Moderna’s vaccine is estimated to be between $32 to $37 per dose.

Q: Can transnational corporations play a positive role in global development? A: Yes, TNCs can leverage their resources and expertise to combat crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to critical innovation and progress in the field of medicine.

Q: What is neoliberal theory, and how does it relate to government intervention in business? A: Neoliberal theory argues that markets should be left to operate without government intervention, but Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine development shows that government involvement can be critical during times of crisis.

Q: What are the concerns regarding equitable vaccine distribution? A: There are concerns that developed countries will benefit more from medical breakthroughs, leading to unequal access to vaccines in developing countries.

The donation or loan of vaccines to developing countries could be a possible solution to this problem.

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