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.