With over 200 clinical trials and around 300 partnerships and collaborations among vaccine manufacturers globally, the The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) claims that the world may soon have ‘just enough’ Covid-19 vaccines for the adult population.
In a statement issued today (May 19), the ABPI said production of the vaccine which has increased from zero to 2.2 billion doses this May, is estimated to reach 11 billion doses by the end of the year.
“This will be enough doses to vaccinate the world’s adult population,” it stated.
However, given the reports of the vaccines not reaching equally among the priority populations worldwide, ABPI has come up with a list of suggestions for the stakeholders involved.
To make the vaccine available for the priority population, the ABPI suggested that manufacturers, governments and non-governmental organisations work together and address this inequity.
Priority will be to focus on stepping up responsible dose sharing and maximizing production without compromising quality or safety.
All innovative vaccine manufacturers and biotech companies need to immediately work with governments that have significant domestic supplies of Covid-19 vaccine doses so that a meaningful proportion of the doses can be shared with low and lower-middle-income countries in a responsible and timely way.
It also suggests expending every effort to make additional uncommitted Covid-19 vaccine doses available to such countries, through COVAX or other efficient established mechanisms.
Various stakeholders involved must undertake all practicable efforts to maximize the vaccine output without compromising safety and quality, including through additional collaborations with partners that can produce significant quantities.
The ABPI says companies must work with governments and individual suppliers of raw materials and components to determine ‘how to quickly and safely facilitate scale-up needed for Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing.’
Additionally, identifying trade barriers for critical input materials is important along with supporting Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations or CEPI’s effort to create an independent platform that would identify and address gaps in these inputs. This will further facilitate voluntary matchmaking for fill and finish capacity through the newly established COVAX Supply Chain and Manufacturing Task Force.
It is also important to urge governments, in coordination with the World Trade Organization (WTO), to eliminate all trade and regulatory barriers to export and to adopt policies that facilitate and expedite the cross-border supply of key raw materials, essential manufacturing materials, vaccines along with the prioritized movement of skilled workforce needed for Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing.
Partnering with governments on Covid19 vaccine deployment to ensure that they are ready and able to deploy available doses within their shelf-life too is suggested strongly. The companies need to prioritize the development of new Covid19 vaccines, including vaccines effective against variants of concern.
Governments need to be urged to guarantee unhindered access to pathogens of any Covid-19 variants to support the development of new vaccine and treatments, concluded the ABPI.