Pfizer's Covid vaccine negotiations with developing countries called 'bullying' ...

Pfizer's Covid vaccine negotiations with developing countries called 'bullying' ...
Pfizer's Covid vaccine negotiations with developing countries called 'bullying' ...

Pfizer - distributor of the world's most commonly used COVID-19 vaccine - has been accused of using its large control over the life-saving jabs to 'bully' the governments of developing nations in purchase negotiations.

The bombshell report, published by Public Citizen on Tuesday, alleges the New York City-based company worked to silence governments, restricted nations' access to vaccine donations, forced governments to pay out lawsuits they may face for breaking intellectual property laws (IP), and to seize public assets in case of missed payments such as foreign bank accounts.

Countries including Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Peru were subject to these terms in order to acquire the vaccine.

Public Citizen reports that high income countries, such as the U.S., have assisted Pfizer in these bullying tactics by staunchly protecting their IP and allowing the company to form a 'monopoly.'

Pfizer has been accused of 'bullying' developing nations in COVID-19 vaccine purchase negotiations in a recent report published by Public Citizen. The company pushed countries to make public assets available to pay outstanding costs and for the donations of vaccine doses to be restricted (file image)

Pfizer has been accused of 'bullying' developing nations in COVID-19 vaccine purchase negotiations in a recent report published by Public Citizen. The company pushed countries to make public assets available to pay outstanding costs and for the donations of vaccine doses to be restricted (file image)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla (right) was critical of calls for President Joe Biden (left) to waive vaccine IP rights. The recent report finds that Pfizer negotiated clauses into contracts with developing nations that allowed them to get around IP rights while pushing the liability onto the nations

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla (right) was critical of calls for President Joe Biden (left) to waive vaccine IP rights. The recent report finds that Pfizer negotiated clauses into contracts with developing nations that allowed them to get around IP rights while pushing the liability onto the nations

Public Citizen obtained nine unredacted copies of Pfizer purchasing agreement with eight countries and the European Union.

The documents revealed previously unknown clauses within contracts that could potentially damage developing nations.

One provision in the contract with Brazil, for example, made the South American country waive sovereign immunity - which protects the nation from lawsuits - in order to access the vaccines, according to Public Citizen.

The contract also prevents Pfizer from being penalized for late shipments.

Little information about these contracts is allowed to be made public, though.

Countries, including the U.S., are not allowed to make any public announcement regarding the details of the contract and any potential dispute must be resolved by private arbitration.

Pfizer is also allowed to control and restrict vaccine donations as part of the contract, Public Citizen reveals.

Nations that sign purchasing agreements with Pfizer could be prevented from receiving donations from other nations, with the company instead wanting doses to be purchased directly from them.

If Brazil, for example, were to receive a donation of COVID-19 vaccine doses from another nation, Pfizer would terminate the contract and the nation would have to pay out the remainder of the contract without receiving any of the remaining doses.

The donation of vaccine doses has become a key part of the U.S.'s global vaccine strategy.

The White House plans to donate more than a billion vaccine doses to other nations.

Health officials in the U.S. are pushing for the nation to donate even more doses, and to even prioritize donation shots across the world instead of distributing vaccine boosters domestically.

While the U.S. sits on a stockpile of the shots, many developing nations are having trouble getting their hands on the life saving shots.

Continuous transmission of the virus in other countries could lead to more variants forming, and with each new strain of the virus that appears poses a risk of being able to evade the vaccines. 

Pfizer has also shifted potential blame for IP infringements committed by the company onto the nations purchasing the vaccine.

Under the provisions, which exist in at least four

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