Largest Vaccine Maker Warns of Delays as U.S. Prioritizes Pfizer - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15159534
The champions of the free market are always eager to force other countries into opening their national markets, except when it suits them, then they are the most unashamed defenders of protectionism.

The US (and the UK) has effectively put a ban on the export of Covid vaccines, while insisting other countries continue to supply vaccines to the US. Still worse, the US has also banned the exports of components needed for producing vaccines abroad, even for US vaccines like Novavax.

Largest Vaccine Maker Warns of Delays as U.S. Prioritizes Pfizer

By Chris Kay March 4, 2021, 10:33 AM EST

The head of the world’s biggest vaccine maker and the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said manufacturers of coronavirus shots face a global shortage of the raw materials needed to churn out the inoculations.

Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India Ltd. -- which is licensed to produce hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca Plc and Novavax Inc. -- told a World Bank panel on Thursday that a U.S. law blocking the export of certain key items, including bags and filters, will likely cause serious bottlenecks. Soumya Swaminathan from the WHO added that there were shortfalls of vials, glass, plastic and stoppers required by those companies.

“The Novavax vaccine, which we’re a major manufacturer for, needs these items from the U.S.,” Poonawalla said. “If we’re talking about building capacity all over the world, the sharing of these critical raw materials is going to become a critical limiting factor -- nobody has been able to address this so far.”

Those supply disruption concerns have arisen after the Biden administration announced plans to use the Defense Production Act to boost supplies needed to make Pfizer Inc.’s vaccines. Last year, Pfizer scaled back its production targets after the U.S. drugmaker ran into difficulties securing all the materials it needs to produce the vaccines at a large scale, a reminder that the world is depending on mass manufacturing at an unprecedented speed and scale to end the pandemic.

“This is one thing that would need some discussion with the Biden administration to explain to them there’s enough to go around,” Poonawalla said. “We’re talking about having free global access to vaccines but if we can’t get the raw materials out of the U.S. -- that’s going to be a serious limiting factor.”

Even under ideal conditions, getting injections into the arms of 7.8 billion people would test the delicate choreography of the world’s supply chains in ways unseen in peacetime. That’s because producing a vaccine relies on a complex global value chain of raw materials and components.

There is a shortage of materials, of products that you need for the manufacturing of vaccines,” said Swaminathan. “This is where again you need global agreement and coordination not to do export bans.”

She said the WHO’s vaccine partners, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations and the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network, will hold meetings on Monday and Tuesday next week to discuss those issues.
Despite Poonawalla’s warnings, he said that Serum had in the past two months distributed 90 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to 51 countries after it was granted emergency authorization by Indian regulators in early January -- a record pace for the company.


Vaccine production relies on an international supply chain. Protectionism by a major player like the US will be detrimental to all of us.
#15159608
Rugoz wrote:Instead of distracting from the EU's vaccine nationalism (Italy just blocked the export of AstraZeneca to Australia),


It seems a strange move from Italy considering Astrazenica especially is being unused in the EU since it was declared quazi-ineffective. Perhaps it was an unwise remark, but the damage is done and perhaps Germany, France, Belgium and Sweden declaring it is safe for over 65s might help install confidence in it. And if not, well they should let the vaccines go where they will be used rather than build up in the EU because that is indeed vaccine nationalism at its worse. But that fact shouldn't detract from the OP which implies that the US is withholding key materials in making vaccines. That too is an issue that should be addressed.

It seems humans are just too stupid to understand that a pandemic doesn't respect borders and until the whole world is vaccinated, nobody is. New variants seem to be detacted everyday now. Which means annual boosters and even more competition for key ingredients. Or we could just be honest with ourselves and mitigate this by just vaccinating the vulnerable and open up again. It will be interesting to see the data which come out of Texas for the next few months put it that way.
#15159619
Pants-of-dog wrote:Here in Canada, we are being hit by both US protectionism and European protectionism.

Not to mention the fact that patents keep us from just making our own.


With 'allies' like these who needs enemies?

China is ready to export millions of vaccines. 83.5% sinovac efficacy for mild and medium symptoms according to latest Turkish rollout, and 100% for severe.
#15159636
Igor Antunov wrote:With 'allies' like these who needs enemies?

China is ready to export millions of vaccines. 83.5% sinovac efficacy for mild and medium symptoms according to latest Turkish rollout, and 100% for severe.

The chaos of capitalist production versus the rationality of socialist production. :)
#15159652
Igor Antunov wrote:With 'allies' like these who needs enemies?

China is ready to export millions of vaccines. 83.5% sinovac efficacy for mild and medium symptoms according to latest Turkish rollout, and 100% for severe.


Canada is firmly in the capitalist hegemony. China is being portrayed as evil right now in Ottawa.

And since everyone is holding the provincial authorities accountable for handling Covid, Trudeau has no motive to hurry things.
#15159654
@B0ycey

Rugoz wrote:Instead of distracting from the EU's vaccine nationalism (Italy just blocked the export of AstraZeneca to Australia), why don't you provide evidence for the above for a change? :roll:


You are incoherent. There is no "evidence" for the "EU's vaccine nationalism." The EU continues to comply with its commitments for exporting vaccines.

I don't know why Italy halted a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines. The Italians were the most aggressive about taking actions against AstraZeneca after it defrauded the EU. Australia doesn't need the vaccine. It still hasn't approved AstraZeneca and may never do so. Why would AstraZeneca export vaccines to Australia, which isn't going to use them, while cutting supplies to Italy and the EU? AstraZeneca failed to stockpile vaccines for the EU before approval even though it had been paid to do so.

Thanks to its geographical isolation, the Covid-19 outbreak in Australia doesn't call for any urgency to approve a vaccine based on incomplete data. Australia could get 5 million AstraZeneca doses from Switzerland, which wants to gets rid of the vaccine. Switzerland gets to keep a disproportionate share of the Moderna vaccine produced by Lonza in Switzerland. There, even the Swiss are into vaccine nationalism. :lol:

Potemkin wrote:The chaos of capitalist production versus the rationality of socialist production. :)


Protectionism is the opposite of the free market. The market economy works a lot better than the communist command economy.

You are trying to muddy the water. The problem is imperialism and not the market economy.

Igor Antunov wrote:China is ready to export millions of vaccines. 83.5% sinovac efficacy for mild and medium symptoms according to latest Turkish rollout, and 100% for severe.


China doesn't have the capacity to supply the whole world with vaccines. China will just supply to selected countries in order to pursue its imperialist ambitions. That's not going to help the receiving countries because they are going to resent the political price they'll have to pay.

Once the real efficacy of the Chinese vaccines against the new variants becomes apparent, everybody is going to dump the Chinese vaccines. Countries relying on Chinese vaccines now will have to start vaccinating again with Western vaccines next year.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Here in Canada, we are being hit by both US protectionism and European protectionism.

Not to mention the fact that patents keep us from just making our own.


Where does Canada get the Biontech/Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine from? Do American companies supply Canada from across the border in the US? No, they aren't, they are supplying Canada from Europe. In fact, the EU supplies Canada even though AstraZeneca has cut supplies to the EU by 60%. Thus, what you say is false.

Canada doesn't have a vaccine industry with or without patents. You simply don't have the knowhow. But Canadian companies do hold patents. The Canadian company Acuitas is involved in a patent litigation suit against Moderna for claiming about 20% of Moderna's revenue on the basis of a single patent relating to the lipid nanoparticles needed for the Moderna mRNA vaccine. Unsurprisingly, Moderna wants patent right to be waived for the "duration of the pandemic." :lol:

Canada has more vaccine orders per capita than any other country, yet Canada is the only developed country to claim a share of the Covax vaccines for poor countries. For a country without vaccines, that's about as close as you can get to vaccine nationalism.
#15159658
Atlantis wrote:Where does Canada get the Biontech/Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine from? Do American companies supply Canada from across the border in the US? No, they aren't, they are supplying Canada from Europe. In fact, the EU supplies Canada even though AstraZeneca has cut supplies to the EU by 60%. Thus, what you say is false.


Not really.

Canada based its policy on the capitalist mode of production and simply buying from Europe and the US. The US has been openly protectionist, and the EU is simply buying them faster than we can.

Canada doesn't have a vaccine industry with or without patents. You simply don't have the knowhow. But Canadian companies do hold patents. The Canadian company Acuitas is involved in a patent litigation suit against Moderna for claiming about 20% of Moderna's revenue on the basis of a single patent relating to the lipid nanoparticles needed for the Moderna mRNA vaccine. Unsurprisingly, Moderna wants patent right to be waived for the "duration of the pandemic." :lol:

Canada has more vaccine orders per capita than any other country, yet Canada is the only developed country to claim a share of the Covax vaccines for poor countries. For a country without vaccines, that's about as close as you can get to vaccine nationalism.


None of this contradicts my point.
#15159682
Atlantis wrote:You are incoherent. There is no "evidence" for the "EU's vaccine nationalism." The EU continues to comply with its commitments for exporting vaccines.


I asked for evidence of US vaccine export restrictions.

Atlantis wrote:The Italians were the most aggressive about taking actions against AstraZeneca after it defrauded the EU.


No real evidence of AstraZeneca "defrauding" the EU either.

Atlantis wrote:Australia could get 5 million AstraZeneca doses from Switzerland, which wants to gets rid of the vaccine.


My government is stupid for getting rid of the AstraZeneca vaccine. No doubt I prefer the Moderna/Biontech vaccines, but I wouldn't mind getting an AstraZeneca shot first. As an appetizer if you will. :excited:

Atlantis wrote:Switzerland gets to keep a disproportionate share of the Moderna vaccine produced by Lonza in Switzerland. There, even the Swiss are into vaccine nationalism.


It's vaccine nationalism to some extent, but not of the kind you think. Switzerland ordered the Moderna vaccine relatively early in large quantities, no doubt because it is produced by Lonza (for the non-US market), but it doesn't restrict exports. The EU ordered European vaccines which turned out to be duds (e.g. Sanofi). The US has developed more and more effective vaccines overall.
#15159694
Rugoz wrote:The EU ordered European vaccines which turned out to be duds (e.g. Sanofi). The US has developed more and more effective vaccines overall.


That's easy to say with hindsight. At the time, most people expected large vaccine producers like Sanofi, Pfizer, Merck, GSK, Novartis, etc., to be able to produce a vaccine. They all failed, and Pfizer wouldn't have a vaccine without Biontech. It was small innovative startups like Biontech, Moderna and Curevac that made the race in the end, while the big vaccine makers all failed.

The EU, the US and the UK all ordered large amounts of the British-French GSK/Sanofi vaccine. The vaccine development was bankrolled by the Trump administration to the point that the Sanofi CEO said that the French company would serve the US market first.

Aside from Biontech/Pfizer, CureVac and AstraZeneca, the Janssen (J&J) vaccine was also developed in Europe. There are more than 40 factories in Europe producing Covid vaccines and many more in the vaccine supply chain. US money controls the world, but Europe has a better vaccine industry.
#15159793
Canada to take COVAX vaccines, won't share doses until every Canadian is inoculated

Canada will take its share of vaccine doses from the internationally funded COVAX initiative and will not give any doses to other countries until all Canadians are vaccinated, said Procurement Minister Anita Anand.


Canada is one of the richest countries on the planet, yet the country takes vaccines out of the international COVAX program for supplying vaccines to poor countries. Canada is in fact the only rich country to do so.

Even the US and the UK didn't sink that low. Canadian vaccine nationalism beats it all, yet the Canadians here (@Pants-of-dog) feel they have to piss on the EU, which approved almost 200 Covid vaccine export licenses to 30 countries in the last month alone, despite suffering a vaccine shortage due to British and American vaccine nationalism.
#15159836
wat0n wrote:How's the rollout going in China?


From what I'm told slowly and casually. There is no out of control pandemic so no desire to rush vaccination. More money to be made in exporting abroad. So that's the priority. However all armed forces and healthcare workers have been vaccinated.
#15159874
Hong Kong has already recorded a few cases of deaths after taking the vaccine:

March 3: Authorities investigate death of patient two days after he received Sinovac vaccine
March 6: Woman dies after receiving Sinovac vaccine, HK faces less than 10 cases

Of course, the government will try their best to explain these deaths has nothing to do with vaccine, let alone Chinese vaccine.

Make no mistake, vaccines at this stage seem to be immature regardless of their places of origin, and I deliberately quote the two news from different political camps.
#15159876
Atlantis wrote:China doesn't have the capacity to supply the whole world with vaccines. China will just supply to selected countries in order to pursue its imperialist ambitions. That's not going to help the receiving countries because they are going to resent the political price they'll have to pay.

Once the real efficacy of the Chinese vaccines against the new variants becomes apparent, everybody is going to dump the Chinese vaccines. Countries relying on Chinese vaccines now will have to start vaccinating again with Western vaccines next year.


An interesting point to note is that we currently have no knowledge on which kind of vaccine Chinese leaders themselves have taken.

I think it's not much of a problem if some vaccines are simply useless -- I mean, if those taking vaccines are already being cautionary they are not going to catch it anyways. The real issue is about possible adverse effects, which might actually kill.

A more practical approach is to actually wait until vaccine is available on a broader scale and more maturely developed.

My household has enough face masks and cautionary measures to put it up for another year.

Those who are eager to take the vaccine are possibly the ones who are eager to go somewhere. Good luck with them.
#15159893
Atlantis wrote:Aside from Biontech/Pfizer, CureVac and AstraZeneca, the Janssen (J&J) vaccine was also developed in Europe. There are more than 40 factories in Europe producing Covid vaccines and many more in the vaccine supply chain. US money controls the world, but Europe has a better vaccine industry.


That might as well be, unfortunately you're such a rabid Anglo-hater that I don't put much trust in anything you say.
#15159903
Atlantis wrote:Canada to take COVAX vaccines, won't share doses until every Canadian is inoculated



Canada is one of the richest countries on the planet, yet the country takes vaccines out of the international COVAX program for supplying vaccines to poor countries. Canada is in fact the only rich country to do so.

Even the US and the UK didn't sink that low. Canadian vaccine nationalism beats it all, yet the Canadians here (@Pants-of-dog) feel they have to piss on the EU, which approved almost 200 Covid vaccine export licenses to 30 countries in the last month alone, despite suffering a vaccine shortage due to British and American vaccine nationalism.


The fact that Canada is (once again) plundering the developing world because of its capitalism does not change the fact that Canada is not getting vaccines from Europe or the USA.

This is called a whataboutism.

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