Innovative biopharmaceutical companies are at the forefront of the response to the pandemic; not least by developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines in record time. Our industry joins today’s global summit to demonstrate our commitment towards working with governments and global health partners to align on a common vision to expand and enhance our shared efforts to defeat COVID-19.
This month COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing output will reach 7.5 billion doses, and 12 billion vaccines will be produced by the end of 2021. At this rate, on the basis of the most conservative projections (Airfinity report), even if governments in G7 countries decide to vaccinate teenagers and adults at a rate of more than 80% and decide to give boosters to at-risk populations, there would still be over 1.2 billion doses available for distribution by the end of this year. By June 2022, if there are no major bottlenecks and trade barriers, output will reach over 24 billion.
We are fully committed to “vaccinate the world” as articulated in our “Five steps to urgently advance COVID-19 vaccine equity” we are working with governments and partners to:
- step up dose sharing,
- continueefforts to optimize production,
- eliminatetrade barriers,
- support country readiness, and
- continue to drive innovation.
The G7 and G20 countries are making strides to increase dose sharing and we welcome the increased focus from these leaders to respond to the challenge of greater dose sharing. Now, in addition to doses already committed, each month, over 200 million doses secured by G7 countries could be available for low- and lower-middle-income countries. Political leadership is critical to distributing the 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021; and developing robust plans to enable the efficient distribution of these doses with due regard to the capacity in low- and lower-income countries to roll out immunization plans across their priority populations and achieve vaccine equity.
To “save lives now”, treatments remain integral to COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Thankfully, a handful of COVID-19 treatments are already standard of care. The biopharmaceutical industry is continuing to research, develop and scale up manufacturing capacity for existing and novel treatments, but their effective roll out to patients is dependent on country readiness to ensure the right patient gets the right treatment at the right time.
Strengthening health systems to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments get to all who need them will be the foundation for “building back better” and ensuring all patients will benefit from future innovation. To stave off future pandemics, society needs a thriving innovation eco-system alongside a resilient, sufficiently resourced, health infrastructure that will sustain the development, production and deployment of vaccines and therapeutics vital to continued global health progress.