Speedometer Blog

Friday, May 21, 2021
The G20 met today in Rome for a Global Health Summit and vaccine equity was at the top of the agenda. According to Reuters, the resulting “Rome Declaration” calls for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to increase production of Covid-19 vaccines globally. The declaration also reportedly mentioned the important role of the ACT-Accelerator (of which COVAX is one pillar) but did not commit to funding it (the ACT-Accelerator still needs $19 billion to reach its goal).
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Manufacturing projections for Covid-19 vaccines seem to shift on a near-weekly basis. We are not even halfway into 2021 and already we have seen adjustments, both up and down, across all vaccine makers.
Friday, May 7, 2021
The US threw its weight into the ring on the side of the TRIPS waiver this week, surprising many. There is still a long road ahead for the waiver, which much be agreed through discussion and consensus. With vocal opponents (including Germany), this is unlikely to happen before December. But if it does go through and intellectual property (IP) protections are waived, will it make a difference?
Monday, May 3, 2021
There is a lot of ground to cover this week. The pandemic continues to rage throughout the world, with countries in South Asia and Latin America battling the worst surges. India has set new world records for daily infections and deaths, while eschewing a nation-wide lockdown and struggling to implement a mass vaccination campaign with limited supply.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Launched as a global cross-organization collaboration only one month after the pandemic was declared, COVAX was built to facilitate global equity in the pandemic response. As COVAX passes the one-year mark this month, there are some early lessons and insights that can inform its further development and help us prepare for future crises.
Friday, April 16, 2021
COVID-19 vaccines across the world have been produced and authorized for use with record speed. So far, 13 vaccines have received either limited or full regulatory approval. It’s important to note that the safety of the vaccines is continuously monitored even after limited and full regulatory approvals are granted.
Friday, April 9, 2021
A promising new vaccine candidate is getting a flurry of attention this week, even in a very crowded landscape that includes 11 vaccines on the market and 50+ more in Phase 2 or 3 trials. The newcomer NDV-HXP-S vaccine, developed through collaborations between researchers at University of Texas at Austin, PATH, and Mount Sinai, among others, is a mouthful to say but the name captures the two reasons people are excited about it.
Friday, April 2, 2021
The global imbalance in Covid-19 vaccines is often framed in terms of wealthy versus poor countries. While it can be summed that way (wealthy countries do have the majority of doses, while low-income countries have almost none), this overlooks the experience of upper-middle income countries (UMICs), such as Brazil, Indonesia, and China.
Friday, March 26, 2021
India’s announcement this week that it would halt exports of domestically produced Covid-19 vaccines in the short term seemed to take the world by surprise. It probably shouldn’t have.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Canada followed the same vaccine procurement playbook as its wealthy peers, making early advance market purchases across a broad range of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Between August and October 2020, Canada purchased doses from Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen (J&J), Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, and Medicago (a domestic company).
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
While the vast majority of Covid-19 purchases have been through the public sector, we have also seen some private sector deals. This appears to be increasing recently, as governments are partnering with private sector health providers to widen the reach of their vaccine rollouts.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
There were two significant developments this week that are great news for Covid-19 vaccine equity. To be clear, the picture is still bleak: rich countries hold more than half of the vaccine purchased and don’t want to share until they’ve had their fill.
Monday, February 22, 2021
The G7 countries met (virtually) on Friday, February 19, to share variants of “no one is safe until everyone is safe” and discuss the importance of global equity of Covid-19 vaccines and the need for international cooperation. (Sound familiar? That’s because we heard the same things from the G20 in November.) 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Global manufacturing capacity has been the primary rate limiter for Covid-19 vaccinations. Our vaccine manufacturing infrastructure was not designed to produce enough doses to cover 70% of the world’s population within a year (in addition to regular and routine vaccines) and, as expected, demand is outstripping supply. There has been good news on the manufacturing front, however, with several large pharma companies recently joining with rivals to ramp up production.
Monday, February 8, 2021
The COVAX partnership released last week its first estimates of dose allocations for participating countries, covering planned deliveries from February through June. These are labeled as “indicative,” meaning the estimates are non-binding and subject to a list of caveats provided in both the distribution forecast and the supply update released in January. In fact, the language surrounding both documents seems on balance to contain more hedging than forecasting.