The UK government is removing almost all COVID-19 restrictions from England in what the Prime Minister has as “Freedom Day”, but unfettered freedom does not exist. COVID is not going away any time soon. It’s time to prioritize transparency, consultation and long-term solutions. Everyone wants the world to return to normal, but we need to find a new normal that maximizes freedom in a world where COVID will be ever-present, rather than trying to return to a pre-pandemic status quo.
CGD Policy Blogs
Shock to the System: Understanding Global Medical Supply, Shortages in COVID-19 Crisis, and How to Prepare for Future Disruptions
Since March of 2020, COVID-19 changed most aspects of life as we knew it, from our personal day-to-day activities to the systems, processes, and structures that keep the global economy interconnected and moving. This included pharmaceutical production and distribution, where anecdotal evidence suggested production problems, export bans, and trade disruption could significantly impact vital medicines access in low- and middle-income countries.
Effective vaccines are developed through collaboration between governments, publicly funded research universities and for-profit pharmaceutical companies. But the incentives to produce the doses can often leave out lower-income countries.
In 2020, epidemiological modelling went from relative obscurity to being central in helping governments, and the public, understand COVID-19 as it spread around the world. In 2021, with the emergence of effective COVID-19 vaccines, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) will be critical to making the best possible decisions in bringing the pandemic under control, particularly in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). In this blog we look at the potential of HTA to inform how much vaccine countries should buy, who should pay, and how vaccines can be most effectively delivered.
At a recent CGD staff presentation of our work into COVID-19 vaccines, our colleagues raised a large number of interesting questions, so, we asked our colleagues to send in their questions on the COVID-19 vaccine portfolio.
Today we launch an interactive tool that analyses the COVID-19 vaccine portfolio, and generates estimates about the timelines for the vaccines in the portfolio.
As the world awaits the results of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, we have interviewed sixteen vaccine experts from the vaccine industry, academic, and regulatory agencies. Their overall message: the time to prepare is now.
Our new paper aims to answer this question using mathematical modelling and expert interviews to: better understand the COVID-19 vaccine portfolio, and generate probabilistic estimates on timelines for approval and the manufacturing scale up.
We are developing a system of interconnected models which represent global manufacturing capability from the start of clinical trials to secondary vaccine manufacture; that is, time from first human trials to finished product ready to be shipped.
As vaccines complete the different phases of development (pre-clinical, phase I, phase II, phase III, regulatory review, and license), results will be published in the scientific literature and announced to the public through the media and press releases. We our currently working as part of a larger group to interview experts and give better guidance on the timelines and probabilities of success for a vaccine against COVID-19. In the meantime, it is important not to read too much into early stage results—this is why.