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Thursday, March 30, 2023

The world has gone from a shortage of vaccines against Covid-19 to an excess

After a race against time to build capacity and satisfy seemingly insatiable demands for vaccines against Covid-19the global vaccine industry is now facing declining demand.

The trend may be increasing sales by pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc dampen and create new problems for local manufacturers from India to Indonesia who develops a huge capacity to make vaccines, but is now struggling with oversupply.

While the boosters are likely to keep demand for Covid vaccines alive around the world, the huge shortages that prevailed much of last year have diminished. Now the possibility of a global abundance seems more likely.

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“The supply exceeds the demand in a large part of the world, although many countries apply reinforcement vaccines,” says Scott Rosenstein, healthcare consultant for the Eurasia Group.

Meanwhile, a growing number of manufacturers are entering the market.

More than 9 billion doses can be produced in 2022, but the demand for vaccines may decrease to an approximate rate of between 2.2 billion and 4.4 billion doses per year in 2023 and further, according to the analyst firm Airfinity Ltd.

Moderna’s CEO said in a conference call that the US government has not yet placed any orders for 2022, which suggests room for growth if the country buys a large quantity of booster doses.

AstraZeneca declined to comment.

Pfizer did not directly address vaccine demand and said in a statement that there is enough capacity to vaccinate the world by 2022, but barriers to entry remain. Moderna had no further comment.

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The problem is particularly acute in India, home to the world’s largest vaccine industry, which is struggling with domestic and global oversupply.

Biological E. Ltd., a major manufacturer in Hyderabad, has invested about 15 billion rupees ($ 195 million) to double capacity during the pandemic up to about four million doses of vaccines per day. However, with most adults fully vaccinated and the government showing no urgency to step up its booster dose campaign, it is unclear how many more doses will be purchased.

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The Serum Institute of India Ltd., the country’s top supplier that produced 2 billion Covid vaccines last year, stopped production in December after a lack of orders, CEO Adar Poonawalla said in January. Serum did not respond to questions and requests for comment on the company’s production levels of Covid vaccines.

“One of the big questions ahead is going to be what to do with all this vaccine manufacturing capacity as demand decreases,” Rosenstein said. “There is probably not enough demand for other vaccines to make it a viable option for all of these manufacturing plants.”

mRNA technology

Other Indian vaccine providers are also looking for innovative immunization opportunities outside of Covid.

“We believe that not only COVID-19 vaccines, but also flu vaccines, pneumococcal vaccines and those against other neglected diseases will be launched into very important opportunities,” said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, president of Biocon Ltd., earlier this month. told Bloomberg Television.

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Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, some developers are throwing in the towel. The Indonesian Calf Farma has been working on a Covid vaccine with South Korea’s Genexine Inc. this month. interrupted, referring to abundant stock. Now he intends to use DNA technology for other types of vaccines.

Despite current pressures, companies are likely to continue to see a demand for booster doses while looking for improved vaccinations that are better than initial products. It appears Covid is developing into what is likely to be an endemic disease, meaning it is possible to stay here, said Gary Dubin, president of the vaccine unit at Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. of Japan, said.

Yet there remain questions about whether and how often regular reinforcements will be needed, and whether possible variants “could change the landscape quickly,” he said.

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World Nation News Desk
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