Geneva, 24 January 2022: The global health community recently celebrated the first billion doses of vaccines delivered through COVAX. This would not have been possible without unprecedented collaboration and partnerships involving private companies, international agencies, governments, and health workers from industrialized and developing countries.
A year since the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered, vaccine makers including biotechnology firms, developing and developed country manufacturers have successfully scaled up vaccine manufacturing, more than doubling pre-COVID vaccine capacity within a year. Today, the problem is no longer vaccines but vaccination as a result of vaccine hesitancy, absorption capacity, and country readiness.
While we are proud to be part of the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, we know that society needs to do more and go further, urgently addressing the bottlenecks in vaccine administration while reflecting on how to achieve more equitable allocation faster in the future. Manufacturers, governments, academia, NGOs and other global health institutions have a collective responsibility to ensure that no one is left behind in this pandemic and the next outbreak.
SARS-CoV-2 has evolved, persisted, and proved predictions wrong – our understanding of the challenges and potential solutions is constantly evolving. As we continue to work towards strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness and response and achieve equitable access, we must preserve and strengthen what has worked in the COVID19 response so far and focus on the real bottlenecks and barriers.
We need to enhance not hinder the thriving innovation eco-system while building a resilient, sufficiently resourced, health infrastructure that will sustain the development, production and deployment of vaccines and therapeutics vital to continued global health progress.
The private sector will continue to play a unique and critical role in responding to this pandemic and preparing for the next. We are committed to working with governments, international organizations and other stakeholders on policies and plans to achieve effective response the world requires to tackle any future pandemic.