The vaccines are not free

It's now normal for taxpayer money to be spent subsidising private for-profit businesses.

COVID-19 vaccination in SlovakiaCOVID-19 vaccination in Slovakia (Source: SME)

Back in 1955 Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio. On the day the US government approved it for widespread use, Salk appeared on television and was asked who owned the patent for his vaccine.

“Well, the people, I would say,” Salk said. “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

Amid the ongoing dispute between pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca and the European Union over supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine that attitude looks pretty refreshing.

In Salk’s mind, the formula for the vaccine wasn’t something he could own. His research was financed by a charity, the March of Dimes, a non-profit founded by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The money for the polio vaccine came from the public, so it should be public property.

But that is not the approach taken today.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

Actor Noël Czuczor portrays Alfréd Wetzler in "The Auschwitz Report".

The Allies knew about Auschwitz atrocities, but they bombed the Bratislava refinery instead

A report about the atrocities written by two Slovaks who escaped the camp was ignored for weeks and months.


13. okt
Children flying kites in Žilina.

Weekend: Short stories about 'unicorns' win a prize

Philip Morris has opened an interactive laboratory in Banská Bystrica, and private radio stations will say goodbye to Slovak music.


15. okt
Cyclists and scooter riders wave their way on Obchodná Street.

How to cycle in the centre of Bratislava

Obchodná Street is one problematic stretch for cyclists in the capital.


14. okt
The Christmas market on Main Square.

In spite of pandemic, Bratislava is preparing for Christmas markets

But there won't be an ice rink in Hviezdoslavovo Square this year.


15. okt
Skryť Close ad