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February 1, 2021

Why increased investment in Covid vaccine manufacturing is still important

By Paul Dennis

1 February

Garett Jones, an economist and author, re-tweeted a working paper on how to accelerate vaccine availability during a pandemic.

In his opinion, even at this stage, investments in expanding vaccine manufacturing capacity will have large benefits.

The study evaluates the challenges being faced by governments to procure and administer the vaccines, arguing that buyers should directly fund manufacturing capacity and shoulder risks of failure, while at the same time maintaining direct incentives for speed.

Many experts in the industry and internal organisations believe that there were hard limits on the how much supply could be created in the required time.

It was found that early at-risk investments in vaccine manufacturing capacity would have resulted in large net benefits for countries for all levels of income.

However, data further revealed that higher income countries such as the US and UK invested billions of dollars at risk contracting for large number of courses across multiple vaccine candidates, while upper middle-income countries invested lesser in vaccine doses and candidates.

At the same time, most lower income countries did not strike vaccine deals at all and waited to receive from donors such as the COVAX facility.

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