“A Vaccine For The Rich” – Pfizer’s COVID-19 Jab Almost Impossible To Distribute In Poorer Countries

“A Vaccine For The Rich” – Pfizer’s COVID-19 Jab Almost Impossible To Distribute In Poorer Countries

Tyler Durden

Wed, 11/11/2020 – 22:40

A logistical “roadmap” from Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical has been released showing the staggering logistical feats required to transport and store the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has just been christened by Bloomberg as “the vaccine of the rich”.

<!–[if IE 9]><![endif]–>

Offering some more insight into details that have been the subject of much speculation on Wall Street, Bloomberg reported on this “complex and costly” private network that companies are building to help distribute vaccines like Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine (a technology that’s also being used by another leading candidate, Moderna), that is, once it has finally been approved.

Countries that don’t already have these networks will need to build them from scratch if they wish to substantially reduce the supply bottleneck, which would be “a herculean task”.

That means that countries will need to build from scratch the deep-freeze production, storage and transportation networks needed for the vaccine to survive. This massive investment and coordination required all but guarantees that only rich nations will manage to dial up access, with the wealthy first in line to receive their doses.

“Its production is costly, its component is unstable, it also requires cold-chain transportation and has a short shelf life,” said Ding Sheng, director of the Beijing-based Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, which has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The WHO and Bill Gates have invested plenty of time on a PR campaign warning that access to the vaccine must be made ‘universal’ – that is, extended to all of earth’s 7.7 billion people – or humanity won’t manage to eradicate COVID-19.  Together, they’ve backed a project called ‘Covax’ which aims to raise $18 billion to pay for vaccines for poorer countries.

But even once they’ve been paid for, the task remains: how can we physically ship and store them in such vast quantities?

The massive expense of the infrastructure investment means many of these poorer countries are now faced with a difficult choice: invest in the supply network, even before the vaccines have been approved, and take a risk should unforeseen complications arise, or wait to see how everything pans out for the developed world, sacrificing valuable time. Many of these economies could simply wait longer until more conventional vaccines, using other technologies, such as Russia’s adenovirus-vector vaccine, are available. Generally speaking, mRNA vaccines are a new class of vaccines, which is why some are apprehensive about the long-term side effects, which can’t be reliably studied.

“If there is a protein-based vaccine that could achieve the same effect as an mRNA vaccine does and there’s the need to vaccinate billions of people every year, I’d go for the protein-based shots in the long run,” Ding said.

Countries like India are facing particular difficulties given that shipping regular consumer goods remains a difficult, even treacherous, process across much of the country’s hinterland. Health-care experts in the country have already dismissed sub-zero storage as completely unworkable – “just forget it, one said.”

Many working in the country’s public health and the pharmaceutical industry have already voiced concern that India lacks the necessary capacity and capability to deliver a vaccine across its vast rural hinterland and population of over 1.3 billion people at the breakneck speed now expected.

“Most of these vaccines need minus 70 degrees, which we just can’t do in India, just forget it,” said T. Sundararaman, a New Delhi-based global coordinator of the People’s Health Movement, an organization that brings together local activists, academics and civil society groups working on public health.

“Our current cold chains are not able to cope with some districts’ need for measles vaccines, and that’s only for children below the age of 3,” he said. “That’s a really trivial number of people compared to the numbers that will need a Covid-19 vaccine.”

When asked at a Tuesday briefing if India’s government would look to buy any of the Pfizer vaccine, Rajesh Bhushan, the secretary at the health ministry, said New Delhi is in talks with all vaccine manufacturers. He added that India was in a position to “augment and strengthen” its existing cold-chain capacity, but declined to release any purchase details immediately.

So, judging by the way things are going…

<!–[if IE 9]><![endif]–>

…it looks like the world is headed for a tiered system: one vaccine for the wealthy, and one another for the poor.

This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Zero Hedge. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

-> Click Here to Read the Original Article <-

About The Author

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge's mission is to widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public, to skeptically examine and, where necessary, attack the flaccid institution that financial journalism has become, to liberate oppressed knowledge, to provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint and to facilitate information's unending quest for freedom. Visit https://www.zerohedge.com

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub

Please consider donating using any of the cryptocurrencies below or use the Brave browser to tip using Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). Your anonymous contributions help keep this website running for everyone to enjoy!


Take Control of Your Domain Names
The Ultimate Managed Hosting Platform

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!