Vaccine Manufacturing

THE MURKY MANUFACTURING LANDSCAPE

In late 2020 and early 2021, purchases were the primary marker of who would get vaccines and who would be left behind. Now, as many countries roll out their vaccination campaigns, manufacturing and supply have become critical constraints for global access and equity. Countries are looking to production estimates and delivery schedules to understand what they will have and when.

Despite the importance of manufacturing, the landscape itself is remarkably opaque. Publicly available information on production is scarce and fragmented, making it difficult for policy- and decision-makers to fully understand the various supply chains involved, take stock of the risks, and take urgent action where it is most needed in this global effort.

To help address this challenge, we are now tracking and analyzing publicly available information on manufacturing by vaccine and location. Read our Issue Brief: Deciphering the Manufacturing Landscape for Covid-19 Vaccines.

It is important to recognize that this data is not comprehensive, as there are still many unknowns, but we are aggregating the information that is available to enable better insights and decisions globally. We hope that by highlighting the data gaps, we will encourage others to join this effort and help to fill in missing data points and bring more clarity to a murky system. Please contact us with data or corrections that can improve the accuracy of this data set.

 

VACCINE MAKERS PROJECT A GLOBAL TOTAL OF 12 BILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINE IN 2021

Our analysis of 2021 projections from Covid-19 vaccine makers indicates that more than 12 billion doses could be produced this year. It is important to remember that this total is a sum of projections from vaccine developers and may include optimistic assumptions.

Assuming the market is primarily 2-dose vaccines (Janssen and CanSino are the only 1-dose vaccines currently on the market), about 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population. This is frequently seen as the threshold to approach herd immunity, the level of vaccination coverage that limits spread and protects those who are unable to be vaccinated from infection.

 

If manufacturers are able to reach their goal of more than 12 billion doses this year and if those doses were purchased and distributed equitably across the world’s population, we could meet much of the world’s needs in 2021. (It is worth noting that those are both big ifs.)

Global needs can change, however. For example, the emergence and spread of new variants may mean that we need a new generation of vaccines before the end of 2021. We also do not yet know how long immunity from vaccines will last and we may need regular booster shots to maintain immunity and to target new variants. No vaccines are yet approved for use in children under 16 years of age, but several are being tested in children now. The approval of one or more vaccines for children could shift the demand and supply landscape again. Some countries may also choose to purchase and maintain surplus vaccine doses beyond their immediate needs in order to manage future risks, diminishing the immediate supply for other countries.

 

PRODUCTION CAPACITY FOR 2021 VARIES WIDELY AMONG VACCINES AND VACCINE PLATFORMS

To meet the global total of more than 12 billion doses projected in 2021, production will need to increase on a scale we have not seen before. The capacity expansion is not evenly spread across vaccine makers, though. The 2021 supply will be dominated by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Novavax (which is still awaiting regulatory review).

The interactive graph below displays 2021 manufacturing projections by vaccine developer (grouped by vaccine platform). Layered on top of this are the confirmed purchases for each vaccine. Please note that while the manufacturing projections are for 2021, purchased doses may be scheduled for 2022 delivery.

 

It is important to note that both China and Russia are depending on domestic vaccines for their national supply but that is not well reflected in this data, given the lack of publicly available information on purchases or doses allocated to domestic supply in either country. If China’s potential domestic allocation is factored in, Sinopharm-Beijing, Sinovac, and CanSino may have limited additional manufacturing capacity for exports in 2021. Domestic allocation of Sputnik V in Russia likely puts its market commitments far beyond current manufacturing capacity for 2021.

 

GLOBAL MANUFACTURING PARTNERSHIPS

Vaccine makers can be loosely categorized into two manufacturing approaches, a global, distributed approach versus a centralized, in-house approach. Most fall somewhere in the middle but we see clusters at both ends of the spectrum.

The interactive graphic below allows you to select by vaccine to see the manufacturing countries (on the left) and purchasing countries (on the right). Manufacturing partners are also listed below, by manufacturing role when known.

Global purchase patterns tend to reflect the manufacturing approach. Those taking a distributed approach generally have prioritized this in their sales as well and have a larger reach in terms of numbers of countries and regions purchasing their vaccine. The vaccine makers taking a centralized approach are often prioritizing their manufacturing locations for sales and 2021 deliveries.

The interactive chart below allows you to select by vaccine to see manufacturing locations (by city) and partners, as well as the 2021 projected capacity from fill-finish partners (when known).

INCREASING TRANSPARENT ACTIONABLE DATA

Vaccine supply is driving policies and decisions in public health, vaccine purchases, and regional investments. Discussion of issues such as the risk of variants by region, the role of local manufacturing, and the relative impact of intellectual property waivers need to be informed by up-to-date, transparent data.

We encourage everyone to help us build this data set: fill in the gaps, correct mistakes. Let us know what we have missed, data sources we could use, and how you are using this data.

Email us at info@launchandscalefaster.org to share your data with us.