President Biden in his inaugural speech said that when Americans are united, “we can do great things.” The shared investment of millions of U.S. taxpayers into COVID vaccines and treatments with the potential to restore our health, get the economy back on track and prevent millions of future casualties is a great example.
- Nearly 130 million people 18 or older, or about half of the total adult population, have received at least one dose of the COVID 19 vaccine according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5 percent of the population, are now fully vaccinated. To see how many have been vaccinated in your state visit here.
- All three of the vaccines currently being distributed (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) were developed using research the federal government funded with taxpayer dollars invested both recently and over the past several decades.
- The groundbreaking modified RNA technology (mRNA) in the new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was developed by federally funded scientists at academic research labs, the NIH, and the Defense Department.
- Through government agencies like Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Americans invested billions in research and development that helped drug corporations patent new vaccines in record time.
- Thanks to taxpayer support, in 2020 alone, the federal government invested over $15 billion on research for COVID vaccines and therapeutics that will save hundreds of millions of lives.
- DARPA supported decades of research on coronavirus long before COVID 19 came along, creating a springboard for the vaccines that millions of Americans are receiving today. The U.S. government is the largest funder of research and development (R&D) in the nation. Not only is taxpayer funded research behind the COVID vaccine, it has contributed to the development of every single new medicine approved for use between 2010 and 2019.
- Many commonly used medicines like insulin, Epi-Pens, and MMR vaccines were created almost entirely with public funding. Research shows that 70 to 90 percent of priority review, first-in-class, or top-selling drugs can be traced to publicly funded research.