At this point, it is not yet clear how many doses of vaccines will need to be produced to meet demand. Obviously, we are talking about an unprecedented scale. Therefore, the production of vaccines against coronavirus is the most serious problem that Big Pharm and small pharmaceutical companies around the world have ever faced. Our life depends on how they cope with this task. However, the magnitude of the problem is negligible in comparison to the various complex issues that arise in the distribution and use of vaccines around the world. Time is playing against us.
The rate of vaccination of citizens at risk should be higher than the rate of spread of coronavirus infection. Therefore, it is very important to protect hundreds of millions of people from the disease in 2021. During the year of the pandemic, the number of cases is approaching 80 million people, and by mid-December the daily increase in infected with coronavirus exceeded half a million. Coronavirus mortality statistics are not encouraging either. For the entire time of the pandemic, 1.74 million have died in the world, and in recent days, 10 thousand people die every day.
As the newspaper The New York Times noted on December 22, the media objectively cover the scale of the pandemic in the world, this is by no means a rhetorical device. The newspaper spoke in detail about the first case of coronavirus in Antarctica. Approximately 40 employees of the Chilean naval research base received positive tests. The coronavirus has entered an isolated and controlled area. Obviously, many of the restrictions that were introduced during the first wave of the pandemic were useless. "Antarctica was the last mainland to be free of the coronavirus."
Due to the need for the production of vaccines and drugs, the role of Big Pharma's oligopoly is increasing. The research, development, manufacturing, and early distribution of vaccines is handled by a dozen companies that we hear every day, such as Pfizer, Moderna, Jannsen, Sanofi and Astra-Zeneca. Some of the largest companies have acquired firms and laboratories, in which they often make breakthroughs. The most famous example is BioNTech.
Merck has acquired shares in research firm OncoImmune as it wants to oversee the development of a drug that is predicted to halve the death rate and risk of developing acute respiratory failure in severe cases of coronavirus disease. According to media reports, Pfizer, as a typical oligopolist, has put forward the following conditions to the US government: an increase in the number of doses is possible if access to raw materials and equipment, which are becoming increasingly scarce and in demand on the market, is guaranteed.
On December 18, The New York Times devoted a long article to endorse the Moderna vaccine. The authors tried not to emphasize the shortcomings, which can hardly be called insignificant. In 31 paragraphs (42 in total), only a few side effects are mentioned, such as severe allergic reactions. They are most likely caused by a component used in both vaccines currently approved in the United States. In addition, it will take time to find at least some information in the American media, which would be devoted to the development of vaccines in other countries, such as China or Russia. Perhaps the same thing happens in the media of other countries, I just do not know the language and cannot read them. Fortunately, the main problem continues to be discussed why some individuals or groups of people refuse this vaccine and many others because of prejudice, religious and political beliefs, or common deep ignorance.
Today, all over the world, all companies have one main task - first of all, to vaccinate all medical workers of all levels and qualifications who work in the red zone in conditions ranging from optimal to extremely dangerous.Everyone is confident that sooner or later in rich countries, almost all medical, paramedical and auxiliary personnel will be vaccinated.
In addition, it is clear that the second priority group for coronavirus vaccination is the elderly. The degree of vulnerability is different for everyone, as it depends on age and a variety of concomitant diseases. These general statements immediately lead to controversy. The debate will be heated and intense, as the number of doses available will not be enough for all people who need to be vaccinated in the first place.
The priority group includes employees in other critical industries, some of whom, unfortunately, work in the most difficult conditions, especially in poor countries. Garbage collectors are most often mentioned. It is unlikely that this poor category of the population with more than modest incomes has any vaccination options other than a well-thought-out and free immunization program for the population. Have already seen, passed.