An Oxfam resolution before Moderna shareholders received 24% of the nominal vote, or 29% of the independent vote factoring in the 17% of the vote share owned by the company’s directors and senior executives. A similar resolution before Pfizer shareholders garnered 27% of the vote.
The unprecedented Oxfam resolutions, introduced at the Moderna Annual General Meeting today by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and by Ady Barkan, Founder and Co-Executive Director of Be A Hero at the Pfizer Annual General Meeting, urged the companies to study the feasibility of transferring vaccine technology and know-how to urgently ramp up production and improve sustainable access around the world.
In reaction to the votes, Robbie Silverman, Oxfam America’s Senior Manager of Private Sector Advocacy, made the following statement:
“We are pleased to see that nearly 30% of Moderna and Pfizer’s investors agree that the companies should explore the feasibility of transferring its technology to spur manufacturing in low- and middle-income countries. This is the first time that shareholders have voted for a resolution like this on any company proxy ballot.
“Unprecedented risks posed by an unprecedented global pandemic call for novel solutions – and a significant number of Moderna shareholders agree with the bold action we proposed.
“Only 12% of people in low-income countries are vaccinated today– as Dr. Tedros said, this is a “failure of humanity” and threatens the health of all of us, as new variants continue to emerge.
“The countries most impacted are clear on what they believe is the best and most effective way to vaccinate their own citizens – transferring the technology and investing in locally-based manufacturing.
“By every metric, the current donations-based model has failed – it leaves countries at the mercy of rich countries and profit-driven countries; exacerbates on-the-ground distributional challenges; and leaves the world with the same inequities and vulnerabilities that have plagued the global response since the start of the pandemic.
“We believe this strong vote share demonstrates that a significant number of Moderna and Pfizer’s shareholders recognize that the only sustainable way to end the pandemic is to leverage the world’s full manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible. We call on these companies to actively collaborate with the WHO to use every possible tool to combat the scourge of COVID-19, save lives, and restore public health and the global economy.”
At its Annual General Meeting, Johnson & Johnson did not announce vote totals for the resolutions it faced, including Oxfam’s resolution, introduced by Maaza Seyoum, Global South Convener, People’s Vaccine Alliance, calling on the company to be more transparent about its pricing for its COVID vaccines in light of the billions of dollars of public funding from US taxpayers. The company has four days to file that information with the Securities and Exchange Commission.