Improve vaccine supply to the world’s poorest people

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Hello from Washington, where it quickly got cold.

Given that we now have a new strain of coronavirus, the main part of our today is looking at the global vaccine trade. We noticed that Africa has a 6% vaccination rate, and in the District of Columbia, many people are getting vaccinated before Christmas.

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Biden has almost no legitimate reason to wreak havoc in the world

We still know very little about the new Omicron strain. But people worry that this variant has crossed national borders. People still worry that it will render the existing vaccine useless. The strain has spread among most unvaccinated people in South Africa, prompting US President Joe Biden to say on Friday that some people may say this is inciting, and other countries need to compete with the US in terms of donating vaccines overseas. It is compared with generosity, because the United States has donated more jabs than other countries combined.

We can see, thanks WTO-IMF Vaccine Export Tracker, The United States is indeed exporting quite a lot of vaccines. For example, in Africa, it has delivered 90 million doses, compared with 36 million doses in the EU and 103 million doses in China. The United States has donated much more of these vaccines (just under 64 million) than its counterparts—most of China’s vaccines come from bilateral deals.But Biden’s claimed generosity assumes that people won’t remember the U.S. being accused of hoarding vaccines and vaccines earlier this year. Implement export controls. It has no export control technically because we Point out, But indeed, it stitched several contracts together, which is no different from the same thing.

In any case, it is now the end of 2021, and the United States will now definitely export more doses, and will generally increase their quantities starting in June 2021. As of the end of October, it exported approximately 32% of its vaccine supply (compared to 51% in the EU). But, to put it mildly, vaccine inequality on a global scale is still terrible. In Europe, Asia, North America and South America, the rate of double vaccination ranges from 43% to 55%. In Africa, where new variants were first discovered, the vaccination rate was less than 6%. At the same time, the richest countries provided more booster doses this year than the poorest countries vaccinated.

The chart shows that rich countries provide far more boosters in four months than poor countries provide in total doses throughout the year-both in absolute numbers and percentages-exacerbating severe inequalities in global vaccine coverage

This is not entirely due to production problems or the hoarding behavior of Western governments. Because of vaccine hesitation, South Africa has more vaccines than it can be used in weapons. Nevertheless, speeding up vaccine production is still essential.

The problem is that building too much vaccine production capacity may not be in the interest of private sector investors. The dynamics of supply and demand determine that too many vaccines will drive down prices. Once the pandemic is over, the investment in additional manufacturing capacity becomes worthless.

Chad Bowen of the Peterson Institute for International Economics suggests that the government basically needs to subsidize additional manufacturing capacity, otherwise it will not happen. The irony is that, given its impact on the global economy and supply chain, eradicating Covid is not something that incentivizes the market to do it. “The more product lines they build, the faster [those vaccines] Become obsolete,” Bowen said. “If done correctly, the more money invested in expanding manufacturing, the shorter the epidemic will be, but it will cause additional manufacturing capacity to become obsolete. “He added: “You need to motivate or pay more to the company to build this capability, but knowing that you do this, you will tear it down. ”

Then there is the travel exemption. In the same statement on Friday, Biden said that countries should “take up the challenge” and abandon the intellectual property protection of vaccines, which was recognized by the United States.As we have written a lot Several times beforeThe United States supports the exemption in principle, but did not elaborate on what it will accept in terms of details. Without the leadership of the United States, negotiations between India and South Africa could be deadlocked, India and South Africa hope to obtain a broad exemption, and the EU’s more modest proposal aimed at making it easier for the government to overturn patents could stall. Critics of the exemption say that supply restrictions are the real problem.But there are At least one company The work on vaccines in Africa seems to disagree.

In the coming weeks, we will learn more about the health hazards of the new Omicron virus. We don’t want to be the doomsday traffickers of trade secrets, but in our view, unless certain government policies are seriously implemented, even if Omicron is controllable, we will soon deal with the next iteration.

The New York Times has a Interesting reading exist Fake Covid masks Still reach the U.S. coast by China. There is another great reading (summarized here Twitter topic) how Sneaker shop owner Due to supply chain barriers, they are hoarding inventory.

There is always a ray of light in the darkness.this Chip supply shortage already Reversal of fate (Nikkei, $) Along the supply chain, especially for memory chip manufacturers Powerchip, After the US$40 billion debt crisis forced it to delist in 2012, the company will return to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

A sort of Covax Executive Yes Call on rich countries Help provide more vaccines to poorer countries.

Phil Levy of Flexible port Tell the Word Magazine The reason why the supply chain is so chaotic is the high demand.
Amy Williams, Francesca Regalado and Claire Jones

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