Oxfam America and several other religious-oriented investors have submitted proposals on the ballots of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), urging companies to do more for wider access to their COVID-19 vaccines, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The shareholder votes on the proposals will be counted and announced when the companies hold annual meetings next month.
Boston-based Oxfam America says it owns at least $2,000 worth of Pfizer (PFE), Moderna (MRNA), and J&J (JNJ) shares. Its 376 Moderna (MRNA) shares were valued at over $61,000 as of Friday’s close.
Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) argued that the proposals related to their ordinary company business, among other reasons and sought the intervention of the Securities and Exchange Commission in December to have them excluded from the ballots. However, the SEC declined the requests.
Through the proposals, the antipoverty organization wants the companies to study the viability of sharing their IP rights and technical know-how with other manufacturers that could increase vaccine access to low- and middle-income countries.
Oxfam Americas’ proposal on J&J (JNJ) ballot requests the company to disclose whether the government funding it received for the vaccine is being or will be considered in determining its pricing or other factors that affect its access.
Pfizer (PFE), Moderna (MRNA), and J&J (JNJ) are scheduled to hold their annual meetings on April 28.
The investor-led efforts to press for broader vaccine access have coincided with an agreement reached by several key members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for elements of an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines.