Largest Vaccine Maker Warns of Delays as U.S. Prioritizes Pfizer - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15159952
Pants-of-dog wrote: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.


What's wrong with you? Do you think vaccines fall from the sky?

As I have explained multiple times, Canada is getting Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines from Europe. Canada is even getting more than anticipated.

Deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine doses from two approved vaccine makers — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are back on track following weeks of reduced shipments, officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada said today.
...
Fortin said that both companies are on track to meet their targets by delivering a total of six million doses — four million from Pfizer and two million from Moderna — by the end of March.
...
The federal government has come under intense pressure from opposition politicians and other critics in recent weeks as the country's vaccine rollout slowed. Pfizer began reducing shipments in January as it retooled its plant in Puurs, Belgium, so that it could expand its manufacturing capacity. Moderna also has cut its shipments in recent weeks.


COVID-19 vaccine deliveries back on track following weeks of delay, says Public Health Agency

8M vaccine doses to land in Canada by end of March after Pfizer moves up delivery

@Rugoz, you don't have to trust what I say since everything can be very easily verified. You have the right to be ignorant, but don't expect anybody here to take you seriously. Almost everything you have said about vaccines is wrong.
#15160014
wat0n wrote:Is this an attempt to justify their slow rollout?


There are almost 20 Chinese vaccine producers about to meet 40% of global demand, 4 billion doses. Better proliferate it abroad first and monopolize the global pharmaceutical chains while doing so. There is no urgency for it in a country where life is back to normal and has been for months. Only 20 million front line personnel have received vaccinations domestically because only they truly might need them, while hundreds of millions of doses are already abroad or on aircraft making their way abroad, 100 million for Brazil alone-because those countries truly need them.
#15160026
Igor Antunov wrote:There are almost 20 Chinese vaccine producers about to meet 40% of global demand, 4 billion doses. Better proliferate it abroad first and monopolize the global pharmaceutical chains while doing so. There is no urgency for it in a country where life is back to normal and has been for months. Only 20 million front line personnel have received vaccinations domestically because only they truly might need them, while hundreds of millions of doses are already abroad or on aircraft making their way abroad, 100 million for Brazil alone-because those countries truly need them.


With a two-shot vaccine, 4 billion doses are sufficient for 2 billion people. That's a bit more than 25% of the world population. But the question is when will these doses be available? About 3 billion doses will be produced in the EU in 2021. Add to that vaccines produced in the US, India, the UK and other countries, Western vaccines makers will produce more than 8 billion doses in 2021.

Anyways, there will be a surplus of vaccines by the end of the year. Which means that low-efficacy vaccines that don't work against the new variants will be dropped.

Sinovac vaccine may not trigger sufficient antibody response to Brazil variant: study
#15160030
Atlantis wrote:With a two-shot vaccine, 4 billion doses are sufficient for 2 billion people. That's a bit more than 25% of the world population. But the question is when will these doses be available? About 3 billion doses will be produced in the EU in 2021. Add to that vaccines produced in the US, India, the UK and other countries, Western vaccines makers will produce more than 8 billion doses in 2021.

Anyways, there will be a surplus of vaccines by the end of the year. Which means that low-efficacy vaccines that don't work against the new variants will be dropped.

Sinovac vaccine may not trigger sufficient antibody response to Brazil variant: study


Wrong, western countries are hoarding vaccines, and their price is too high for the majority of the world population. Furthermore these are looking more and more like seasonal flu vacs, given the nature of the corona virus and how quickly it changes, i.e billions will be needed every year in all their varieties against all emerging covid strains - forever. Given china already produces +80% of America's medicine for example, has 15 vaccines in the works with 5 on trial abroad, it is best positioned to produce most of the world's covid vacs going forward.
#15160045
I really do wonder how anyone can watch the way this vaccination effort has played out and think there is any sense whatsoever in the free market pharma model. We currently have the richest countries in the world squabbling with each other over who has ordered what, while doing a surprisingly shit job of actually vaccinating people. All of this despite the fact that if news reports are accurate, there will very shortly be enough production capacity to vaccinate everyone on earth three or four times over.

This could all be stopped tomorrow by forcing the pharma parasites to share the IP on their vaccines and ramping up production in the interest of global public health. But doing that would mean AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna don't make colossal profits on research that was largely publicly funded in the first place. All these pissing contests about "vaccine nationalism" are a smokescreen when compared to that.
#15160046
Igor Antunov wrote:Wrong, western countries are hoarding vaccines, and their price is too high for the majority of the world population. Furthermore these are looking more and more like seasonal flu vacs, given the nature of the corona virus and how quickly it changes, i.e billions will be needed every year in all their varieties against all emerging covid strains - forever. Given china already produces +80% of America's medicine for example, has 15 vaccines in the works with 5 on trial abroad, it is best positioned to produce most of the world's covid vacs going forward.


Wrong Igor, come next year, you can throw all Chinese vaccines on the junk heap. The Chinese use old and unsafe technology. mRNA technology is going to revolutionize vaccine production and drug manufacturing. It's cheaper, more efficient, safer and can be customized, down to the last individual. The Chinese don't have a single mRNA vaccine. The new technology is going to make Chinese products obsolete.

Just goes to show that Chinese totalitarianism is incapable of competing with open societies. It's been the same since the last 500 years. The Chinese pour an awful lot of resources into the wrong projects. It's been like that since admiral Zheng He ruined the Chinese state finances by building a huge armada of "treasure ships" in the early 15 centuries, long before the European navigatores set sail. It was a prestige projects without any economic or political benefit.

6 centuries and they still haven't learned to compete. Most of their investments abroad turn sour and result in a political backlash.
#15160047
Heisenberg wrote:This could all be stopped tomorrow by forcing the pharma parasites to share the IP on their vaccines and ramping up production in the interest of global public health. But doing that would mean AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna don't make colossal profits on research that was largely publicly funded in the first place. All these pissing contests about "vaccine nationalism" are a smokescreen when compared to that.


Actually I think you have a strong point about sharing data so we can make more vaccines that work efficiently and also make them affordable if the objective is to get through this as quickly as possible. But there is profits coming from annual boosters, so Capitalism works against us here I am afraid.

Having said that, if we accept there is vaccine nationalism, perhaps I would say the smoke screen is who does what during our vaccination programs to take away our focus that fact instead actually. We in the West are more interested in vaccinating everyone in our nation than just focusing on the global vulnerable first. Rich calls that apartheid, but I call it digging yourself out the message you have been spitting out for the past year. It will take seven years just to vaccinate the world to herd immunity and that is not taking account of new variants. Which means annual boosters are a definite thing and perhaps will only occur in the West and not in the third world at all. So considering this was once about saving lives, today it is all about mitigation and profits. Which is why data won't be shared. And perhaps questions our entire lockdown strategy with it. :hmm:
#15160054
Igor Antunov wrote:There are almost 20 Chinese vaccine producers about to meet 40% of global demand, 4 billion doses. Better proliferate it abroad first and monopolize the global pharmaceutical chains while doing so. There is no urgency for it in a country where life is back to normal and has been for months. Only 20 million front line personnel have received vaccinations domestically because only they truly might need them, while hundreds of millions of doses are already abroad or on aircraft making their way abroad, 100 million for Brazil alone-because those countries truly need them.


You do realize that by doing so China takes a rather large risk, do you? Makes you wonder if it would be feasible in a democratic country, actually.
#15160078
Atlantis wrote:What's wrong with you? Do you think vaccines fall from the sky?

As I have explained multiple times, Canada is getting Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines from Europe. Canada is even getting more than anticipated.



COVID-19 vaccine deliveries back on track following weeks of delay, says Public Health Agency

8M vaccine doses to land in Canada by end of March after Pfizer moves up delivery


I think you are addressing a strawman. And you ignored my point about your whataboutism.
#15160152
Heisenberg wrote:I really do wonder how anyone can watch the way this vaccination effort has played out and think there is any sense whatsoever in the free market pharma model. We currently have the richest countries in the world squabbling with each other over who has ordered what, while doing a surprisingly shit job of actually vaccinating people. All of this despite the fact that if news reports are accurate, there will very shortly be enough production capacity to vaccinate everyone on earth three or four times over.

This could all be stopped tomorrow by forcing the pharma parasites to share the IP on their vaccines and ramping up production in the interest of global public health. But doing that would mean AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna don't make colossal profits on research that was largely publicly funded in the first place. All these pissing contests about "vaccine nationalism" are a smokescreen when compared to that.


The US export ban on vaccines has nothing to do with the free market; on the contrary, it is protectionism driven by vaccine nationalism. You are trying to muddy the waters.

A company that has developed the new vaccine technologies for decades needs at least 8 months to start a new production line under the best of conditions. A company that doesn't have that experience needs even more time even if it is handed the IP. Moreover, equipment and raw materials for the new vaccines are in short supply. Thus companies without an established supply line and without the know-how would need much more than a year to start producing vaccines. By the time they can finally start producing vaccines, the pandemic will over.

Normally, it takes several years to bring a new vaccine to market. The most optimistic forecast last year was that it would take at least 18 month to get a Covid vaccine. It's a pure miracle that we have a very safe and highly efficient vaccine in less than 11 months. That just goes to show the tremendous power of the free market.

Most of the big vaccine makers failed to develop a Covid vaccine because they are more interested in their bread and butter business than in spending money on innovation. It was small innovative start-ups that made the race: BioNTech, Moderna and CureVac. These companies have developed mRNA vaccine technology for many years on a very small budget. The founder of CureVac is a scientist who has pioneered the technology more than 20 years ago. He had to go begging for funds to keep up his research. The founder of BioNTech, the German son of a Turkish guest worker in the car industry, sold his first company to start BioNTech for mRNA research. They will use the revenues from the Covid vaccine to develop new technology against the new virus variants and against cancer.

By depriving them of their IP, you are proposing to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. :knife:

You want to punish those who dedicated their lives to developing the technology to hand the technology free of charge to profiteers who didn't have the innovation to come up with a Covid vaccine and who will pocket the profits without putting it back into research. For example, the Indian Serum company, a generic producer that makes most of the AstraZeneca vaccines, sells the vaccine to poor countries at three times the price paid by rich countries, even though AstraZeneca made a non-profit pledge after pocketing billions of subsidies in Europe and the US.

Cure for cancer the next target for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine inventor Ugur Sahin

Ugur Sahin, the co-founder and chief executive of BioNTech, the firm which developed the earliest authorized vaccine in partnership with Pfizer, told Arab News that successful cancer treatment, using similar techniques he developed in the fight against COVID-19, was his next goal.

Sahin, who developed the vaccine along with his wife Ozlem Tureci, who is BioNTech’s chief medical officer, was appearing in the latest episode of Frankly Speaking, the series of video interviews with leading global policy-makers and business people.

“Definitely. The success now with our COVID-19 vaccine is of course transformative for the company, and we see that as a great opportunity,” he said

Sahin also spoke of the “next generation” of COVID vaccine his company is developing, the need for a fairer system of global distribution of the existing vaccine, and the possibility that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be manufactured in the Middle East.

BioNTech began life as a company focused on using revolutionary mRNA technology to develop new medical weapons in the fight against cancer, and Sahin said that was his next goal once the pandemic had been defeated. The success of the COVID-19 vaccine has proved a vindication of his methods, and given BioNTech the financial resources to pursue the cancer treatment.

We see that as a great opportunity, and also an obligation to think in an even bigger fashion about our vision, and how we could accelerate our cancer program and make it more available,” he said.

Sahin, who is the son of Turkish immigrants to Germany, where BioNTech is based, revealed that a new version of the COVID-19 vaccine could be ready soon, one that is more easily transportable and which could deal more effectively with the more deadly variants of the disease that are appearing in different parts of the world.

“We started to manufacture our vaccine and it came at the beginning with a challenge. We have a vaccine which has to be kept at minus 70 degrees. It’s not yet suitable for supply to all regions on the planet,” he said.

“But we are working on better conditions. We have, most recently, published that we can also start at minus 20 and we will continue to work on that and our aim is really to make our vaccine available — 2 billion doses and maybe even more in 2021 — including not only developed countries but also developing countries.”

The “next generation” of the vaccine could be stored and transported at temperatures as high as minus 2 to minus 8 degrees, he said.

Sahin said that the existing vaccine was also expected to be effective against the South African variant of the virus, which is more transmissible and leads to higher fatality rates, but he added that there was still more testing to be done and data analyzed on the new variants.

Distributing the vaccine more fairly is a challenge, he admitted. “Fairness is always a question of logistics and also accessibility. Our goal when we started to develop this vaccine — and this is in the center of our hearts — is to make our vaccine available worldwide to everyone who needs it,” he said.

He also believes that a more innovative and entrepreneurial approach is needed to solve the problems of distribution of the vaccine to poorer parts of the world.

“We should really ask the question: How can we work together to make that possible?” Sahin said. “That's for some of the future goals, to really understand what are the limitations. For example, for the vaccine supply now, I really want to understand what is the limitation to make our vaccine available to people everywhere,” he said.

One of the key questions in the minds of economic and medical policymakers is when the increasing level of vaccination will begin to bring economic life back to normal after the damaging lockdowns of the past year. “it indeed depends on the rollout. We have this magic number of about 60 to 70 percent of people being vaccinated to start to see a herd immunity, but we are already starting to see the first effects of the vaccinations, with countries starting to vaccinate elderly people.

“So the first effect is that the hospitalizations are dropping in the vaccinated people and that's the first very important aspect — to get the reduction of hospitalization and mortality, and later on get also a better control of infections,” Sahin said.

On the problem of persuading people reluctant to have the vaccine, he said: “We have to continue to communicate the benefits we are seeing. This could help convince people.”

BioNTech partnered with US pharmaceuticals group Pfizer when the potential of its vaccine was in the early stages, optimizing the Americans’ global network for clinical trials, supply and regulatory know-how.

So, we combined our skills and we are working together, driven by science. At the end of the day, we all want to accomplish the same: We want to develop the vaccine as soon as possible, we want to produce as much as possible, and of course we want to have a safe and effective vaccine,” he said.

Outside the US, the vaccine is manufactured at BioNTech facilities in Europe and transported internationally. A new facility in the German town of Marburg is being prepared to manufacture the vaccine in greater numbers, but Sahin explained the long and complex work required in setting up facilities overseas.

It will take us about eight months until we will get out the first vaccines from Marburg. So, this is really the minimal time that would be required. It does not help in the early phase of the pandemic to set up new factories somewhere else. Every factory that we are now starting to consider will help us only in mid-2022,” he said.

[...]


@Heisenberg, @Potemkin, @Pants-of-dog, @B0ycey, why is it that today's leftists keep on parroting this nonsense about depriving the innovators of their IP even when it can only have negative consequences? The reason is obviously that today's leftists are totally alienated from the reality of manufacturing and labour. Only somebody totally ignorant about vaccines development and manufacturing would propose such nonsense.

The innovative biotechnology startups that invented the vaccines are already in partnerships with other pharma companies, Moderna entered into a partnership with Merck, Lonza, etc., BioNTech entered into a partnership with Pfizer, Sanofi, Baxter and many others, CureVac entered into a partnership with Bayer, Wacker, GSK, Novartis, etc., all to ramp up production.

The politicians have completely failed to protect us from the pandemic by public health measures. Now, our last hope are the scientists to save us by vaccines. What's wrong with leftists who want to punish the inventors of the vaccines by taking away their IP even though it can only have negative consequences?

I find it very disturbing to live in a world where people spout such destructive nonsense. IP will of course not be confiscated because in the real world that would have devastating consequences.

As a live-long leftist, I find it kind of sad that this sort of BS talk will relegate the left to the lunatic fringe. I guess we just have to get used to a changing world in which the left will end up in the dustbins of history because of its own ideological idiosyncrasy.
#15160154
@Atlantis
One could make an argument that on this one occasion, preserving the integrity of the IP is counter productive in tackling the pandemic on the whole. This has nothing to do with politics as I wouldn't describe myself as on the left. I have said numerous times that we should be working with everyone, even foes like Russia to tackle this because it is effecting everyone equally. Not that I see this as a major issue I might add. I suppose profits is the driver in medicine development and not public health it seems and pointing that out isn't really attacking anyone but the system.
#15160166
@Atlantis

That's a very long post that mostly misses the point. The reality of pharmaceutical research is that it is overwhelmingly publicly funded until the later stages of drug development, with the data being made publicly available to allow different groups to advance and test the research.

This is just as true for mRNA vaccines: they trace their lineage to the publicly-funded Salk Institute in the early stages, and Katalin Kariko, whose group was the main developer of the technology, did most of her work at the University of Pennsylvania, backed by NIH grants.

This is why the pharmaceutical industry is such a racket: the majority of the "hard yards" are done by university research groups with public funding, only for a pharma company to come in and do the last 10% or so, charge a 1,000-fold markup on the drug, and rake in obscene profits. Pharma companies claiming they are innovators who take all the risk in developing drugs are straight up liars. :lol:

As for "giving the IP to profiteers", I genuinely have no idea what you're talking about. You're the one defending profiteering in this thread, not me. If it were up to me, we'd be commandeering production under some wartime-style law and they would be selling their vaccines at cost price, or face the guillotine. :excited:
Last edited by Heisenberg on 09 Mar 2021 00:54, edited 1 time in total.
#15160181
Atlantis wrote:Wrong Igor, come next year, you can throw all Chinese vaccines on the junk heap. The Chinese use old and unsafe technology. mRNA technology is going to revolutionize vaccine production and drug manufacturing. It's cheaper, more efficient, safer and can be customized, down to the last individual. The Chinese don't have a single mRNA vaccine. The new technology is going to make Chinese products obsolete.

Just goes to show that Chinese totalitarianism is incapable of competing with open societies. It's been the same since the last 500 years. The Chinese pour an awful lot of resources into the wrong projects. It's been like that since admiral Zheng He ruined the Chinese state finances by building a huge armada of "treasure ships" in the early 15 centuries, long before the European navigatores set sail. It was a prestige projects without any economic or political benefit.

6 centuries and they still haven't learned to compete. Most of their investments abroad turn sour and result in a political backlash.


Is this ironic? oh that was subtle, it is, yet I suspect you don't realize. :lol:

Anyway, the opposite on all counts. China has a more extensive genetic engineering program than anyone else, it has more vaccine candidates (utilising mrna) than anyone else, its vacs undergoing live trials are safe and effective, it controls the pharmaceutical supply chains, it has poured resources in all the right nation building projects that have allowed it to compete abroad more dominantly than ever before. Zhang He's voyages greatly spread Chinese influence and trade abroad, hell he stopped by a few places and installed friendly tributary kings while he was at it. Most of their investments abroad are highly strategic and beneficial to both partners.

Thanks for making this list of grand accomplishments exhaustive and so easy for us to highlight.

Some icing: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2B11OY

Mexico is turning to China to fill a vaccine shortfall with an order for 22 million doses, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday, a week after U.S. President Joe Biden ruled out sharing vaccines with Mexico in the short term.
#15160360
While the EU has granted nearly 200 vaccine export licenses to over 30 countries worldwide in the last month, the UK and the US have effectively banned the export of vaccines and vaccine ingredients.

The neoliberal defenders of the free market will always turn to protectionism when it is to their advantage.

EU's Michel slams Britain in 'vaccine nationalism' row

Michel said he was "shocked" to hear the EU being accused of "vaccine nationalism" after it blocked a shipment of jabs leaving for Australia for Italy last week.

"The EU has never stopped exporting," he said, accusing Britain and the United States of banning the export of vaccines and vaccine components.

"The facts do not lie. The United Kingdom and the United States have imposed an outright ban on the export of vaccines or vaccine components produced on their territory.

"But the European Union, the region with the largest vaccine production capacity in the world, has simply put in place a system for controlling the export of doses produced in the EU.

"Our objective: to prevent companies from which we have ordered and pre-financed doses from exporting them to other advanced countries when they have not delivered to us what was promised."
#15160361
@Heisenberg, I have taken some trouble to condense the reasons of why the waiver of IP rights can only have negative consequences. If you can't be bothered to read it, or if you fail to understand, that's not my fault.

Joint development by companies and universities and the sharing of IP rights are common practice. They are mutually beneficial. The corporations fund research the state does not want to fund. The corporations have the means for producing and marketing products the universities do not have. What is wrong with that?

The CureVac founder was the first to demonstrate an immune response with an mRNA vaccine in 1999 at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. His shoe-string budget just allowed him to complete his doctorial thesis. Since then, he has been begging for funds, which came mostly from private investors. Kariko and Weissman at UPenn first published their work in 2005. Again, she was able to pursue her research on a shoe-string budget until her project was defunded at UPenn a few years later. In 2013, she found a job with BioNTech, where her work was appreciated.

UPenn and other universities still hold the patents for the research conducted in partnership with private companies, yet that early funding and the initial inventions are ridiculously in comparison to the billions that are now poured into the development of the technology the thousands of inventions that have been made since.

Those who demand the waiver of IP rights do so for their own profit. Moderna has proposed the waiver of IP rights because it doesn't want to pay royalties for the lipid nanoparticle patent it has to use, which belongs to a small Canadian company. Indian generic manufacturers want to profit from the new technology without having to invest in innovation.

Aside from Oxford, there is not a single public institution to have come up with a Covid-19 vaccine. And Oxford only succeeded because it used an old MERS vaccine as platform. Still it couldn't have produced the vaccine. The reason for the AstraZeneca debacle is that the company was chosen to partner with Oxford for political reasons.

The inventors of the Covid-19 vaccines have the innovative strength to use their revenues for the development of new vaccines against the variants and against cancer. Weakening the innovators while handing the IP free of charge to the non-innovative profiteers is socially very destructive and detrimental for innovation.

The problem are not innovative companies, the problem is financial capitalism which allows the US to cannibalize innovative companies worldwide. The German government did fund the BioNTech vaccine development, yet the company still had to rely on Pfizer for the international rollout of the vaccine, which allowed Pfizer to make the big bugs.

We need to promote the innovators, not punish them. Your sweeping assumption about the role of IP are unfounded. You fail to see the real problem.
#15160364
Atlantis wrote:@Heisenberg, I have taken some trouble to condense the reasons of why the waiver of IP rights can only have negative consequences. If you can't be bothered to read it, or if you fail to understand, that's not my fault.

Lol, I read and understood your post just fine. I just thought it missed the point.

Atlantis wrote:The corporations fund research the state does not want to fund

This is quite literally completely backwards. Pharmaceutical companies only begin to fund research once there is an opportunity to make profits out of it. All the really important stuff has to happen years before Pfizer or GlaxoSmithKline will go anywhere near it.

Atlantis wrote:Those who demand the waiver of IP rights do so for their own profit.

This makes no sense at all.

Atlantis wrote:Aside from Oxford, there is not a single public institution to have come up with a Covid-19 vaccine.

My entire point is that without publicly funded research no private company would have been able to come up with a Covid-19 vaccine in the first place. I'm criticising the entire model of pharmaceutical development.

Atlantis wrote:The problem are not innovative companies, the problem is financial capitalism which allows the US to cannibalize innovative companies worldwide.

I agree that financial capitalism is the overarching problem, but big pharma is tied to that the world over. This is what happens when your criticisms of capitalism aren't systematic, but are based purely on a reflexive dislike of "Anglos". The for-profit pharmaceutical model is a global phenomenon. It is particularly pronounced in the US, but the same formula (private companies taking on research at the last minute, refusing to share data and then making eye-watering profits) is replicated in Europe, India, and everywhere else. The idea that if you just had German capitalists leading the way instead of American capitalists, everything would be better, is nothing more than petty national chauvinism masquerading as a left position.

Atlantis wrote:We need to promote the innovators, not punish them.

You said two posts ago you were a "lifelong leftist", and now you sound indistinguishable from Mitt Romney. :lol:
#15160449
While the US and the UK have an effective vaccine export ban in place, the EU continues to comply with its obligations to supply vaccines to the world even though UK and US companies have cut supplies to Europe.

EU-based vaccine companies exported almost as many vaccines during the last months as were used in the EU. Following the vaccine nationalism of the US and the UK would have allowed the EU to vaccinate more people than anybody else, while depriving other countries of much needed vaccines.

E.U. Exports Millions of Covid Vaccine Doses Despite Supply Crunch at Home

The bloc is a major producer of vaccines but has struggled with its rollout and is pitted against Britain and other allies. In a sign of the frustration, Italy recently blocked a shipment to Australia.
March 10, 2021Updated 9:15 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS — The European Union exported 25 million doses of coronavirus vaccines produced in its territory last month to 31 countries around the world, with Britain and Canada the top destinations, just as the bloc saw its own supply cut drastically by pharmaceutical companies, slowing down vaccination efforts and stoking a political crisis at home.

The bloc — whose 27 nations are home to 450 million people — came under criticism last week, when Italy used an export-control mechanism to block a small shipment of vaccines to Australia. The move was criticized as protectionist, and in sharp contrast to the European Union’s mantra of free markets and global solidarity in the face of the pandemic.

The issue of vaccine production and exports has also created a bitter dispute between the European Union and Britain, a recently departed member, amid accusations that the bloc wants to deprive the country of vaccine doses out of spite, in part because Britain is doing so much better with its rollout.

The tensions culminated in a diplomatic spat on Wednesday after a top E.U. official accused the United States and Britain of bringing in an “outright ban” on exports — a charge that the British government vehemently denied.

Practically speaking, ban or no ban, Britain is not exporting vaccines authorized for use at home, and the country has said it would be prepared to give excess doses to neighboring Ireland, though only after it was done with its vaccination efforts at home.

The United States has also been holding onto doses, in part through a wartime mechanism known as the Defense Production Act, which gives the federal government greater control over industrial production. President Biden promised last week that all adults in America would have at least one vaccine dose offered to them by May.

But information made public for the first time, recorded in detailed internal documents seen by The New York Times, shows that the European Union, far from being protectionist, is in fact a vaccine exporting powerhouse.

Of the 25 million vaccine doses made in E.U.-based facilities that were exported between Feb. 1 (when the export mechanism came into force) and March 1, more than eight million doses went to Britain.

And while the United States kept doses for itself, the E.U. shipped 651,000 vaccines to the United States last month and made vaccines that immunized its neighbors: The second-largest recipient of E.U.-made vaccines was Canada, which received more than three million doses last month, while the fourth-largest was Mexico, receiving nearly 2.5 million vaccine doses produced in the bloc.

Whether to reveal this data has been hotly debated in the corridors of power at the European Commission, the E.U. executive branch, which is at the heart of procuring the vaccines and has suffered the biggest political blow for the underwhelming rollout.

On the one hand, several senior E.U. officials said, revealing the immense export efforts that are keeping countries around the world vaccinated and helping the world economy restart would help restore Europe’s reputation. On the other hand, it would outrage

European citizens who are waiting for their shots while watching Americans, Britons,
Israelis and others race past them into resuming public life, health and economic activity.
As things stand, nearly 58 percent of Israelis have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The figure is 33 percent for people in Britain, 18 percent for the United States, and 6.5 percent of people in the European Union, data collected by OurWorldInData shows.

The bloc was weeks behind the United States and Britain in sealing deals with pharmaceutical firms last year, but did secure a broad portfolio of vaccines on favorable terms on behalf of its members. That granted them relatively quick access to immunization that most would not have dreamed of had they been acting alone.

But within weeks of starting its rollout in late December, the bloc began suffering supply shocks. First, Pfizer said it was cutting deliveries to upgrade its facilities. Then AstraZeneca told the bloc that it would deliver only 31 million of a promised 80 million doses in the first quarter of this year.

Moderna, whose vaccine has also been approved for use by the bloc, has likewise had small problems with supply. Many E.U. countries have also done a poor job getting the vaccines they do have to their citizens because of poor organization and logistics.

The rollout in the bloc has been so poor that member states have been tempted by black-market offers of extra doses, and several are tapping unauthorized vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V, which is still under review for use in the bloc.

Hopes that these woes could be eased in the second quarter of this year have largely hinged on AstraZeneca’s supply picking up and a robust delivery plan by Johnson & Johnson, whose Covid-19 vaccine is set to be authorized by the E.U. regulator on Thursday.

Yet there are concerns that Johnson & Johnson could also be slashing supply to the bloc, prompting a request by the bloc to the United States government for a loan of 10 million doses. Officials in the United States and the European Union said the request had been denied.


@Heisenberg, you obviously didn't understand what I wrote because I demonstrated with examples that what you said was plain wrong:

1. waiver of IP rights will not get us more Covid vaccines,

2. cooperation between companies is already leading to a great surge in production,

3. punishing the innovators will deprive society of much needed inventions while benefitting the profiteers who want to maximize profits without spending money on innovation,

4. initial public funding (mRNA in our example) was insignificant compared to the private funding that resulted in usable products,

5. public institutions and politicians are incapable of making the decisions that we'll lead to good products ...

In conclusion, your ideological bias is totally detached from reality. You probably don't even realize that to anybody in Europe who remembers the socialist command economy from direct personal experience your ideas are very offensive.

In case you didn't notice, my objective is to use the UK's exit from the EU to shredder the neoliberal dogma by showing that neoliberals in the UK and the US are lying through the teeth when they pretend to support the free market. The EU needs a robust industrial policy to protect its own industries. The UK and the US have always tried to prevent that.
#15161283
The Janssen vaccine (J&J) was developed by a small company in the Netherlands purchased by the US pharma giant a couple of years ago. The vaccine is produced by Janssen in Europe; however, J&J's contract with the US governments requires the company to send the vaccine to the US for fill and finish so that the US government can control where the vaccine goes.

Following Trump's decree to prevent vaccine exports December last and Biden's evocation of the Defense Production Act to prevent the export of vaccines and materials for vaccine production, there was fear in the EU that the US government would keep it's share of the vaccine.

Therefore, Janssen has now switched fill and finish operation for vaccines destined for the EU and other countries to a company in Germany to prevent the US from stealing them.

J&J-IDT Biologika Vaccine Deal Gives Europe 'More Delivery Certainty': Germany

A new agreement for Germany's IDT Biologika to help in the production of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccines would offer Europe greater certainty on the delivery of the jabs, Germany's economy minister said Monday.

The deal, announced by IDT Biologika and Johnson & Johnson's German subsidiary Janssen, will allow the latter's newly approved single-dose vaccine to be filled and bottled on German soil amid fears over restrictions imposed by the United States on the export of domestically produced vaccines.

"Vaccine production in Europe and Germany increases delivery certainty and is a very important signal in the current phase of the pandemic," said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier in a statement welcoming the agreement.

Janssen also said that "this cooperation will make it more possible for us to deliver our Covid-19 vaccine worldwide".

While Johnson & Johnson also produces its vaccine in Europe, doses are subsequently sent to the US for the so called "fill and finish" process of bottling and packaging.

The Defence Production Act in place now in the United States requires that Americans be given priority for domestically produced vaccines, effectively severely restricting exports of vaccines made in the US.

On Friday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn warned that Germany would have to wait until "mid-to-late April" for the Johnson & Johnson jab, which last week became the fourth vaccine to be approved by the EU.

With Berlin citing US export restrictions and production issues as the cause of the delay, Spahn said that Germany and the EU were working on "short-term solutions" to the problem, such as setting up production facilities on German soil.

The IDT Biologika deal appears to be just such a solution, with Johnson & Johnson temporarily taking over capacities otherwise reserved by fellow German pharmaceuticals company Takeda for its dengue fever vaccine candidate.

The capacities at the factory in Dessau, northeast Germany, would be returned to Takeda after three months, said IDT Biologika on Monday.

"I am very grateful to Takeda for their flexibility. The last months have shown clearly that challenges raised by the pandemic can only be met through cooperation and engagement," said IDT Biologika CEO Juergen Betzing.


While hundreds of thousands keep on dying of Covid-19 worldwide due to lack of vaccines, the US is sitting on tens of millions of AstraZeneca vaccines, which hasn't been approved for use in the US.

The U.S. Is Sitting on Tens of Millions of Vaccine Doses the World Needs

British-Swedish company AstraZeneca are sitting idly in American manufacturing facilities, awaiting results from its U.S. clinical trial while countries that have authorized its use beg for access.


@Rugoz, both Trump and Biden ruled by decree to prevent the export of vaccines and materials for vaccine production from US soil.
#15161309
Thanks for sharing Atlantis, that NYT article was very informative.

The United States may only briefly, or never, need the AstraZeneca doses if they are cleared for emergency use.

“If we have a surplus, we’re going to share it with the rest of the world,” Mr. Biden told reporters on Wednesday, speaking generally about the U.S. vaccine supply. “We’re going to start off making sure Americans are taken care of first.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/11/us/p ... tates.html

Never thought I'd hear Biden echo Trump.

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The USA has donated zero doses of any vaccine to Covax.

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