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The World Health Organization (WHO) just published the 'Global Vaccine Market Report 2022.'

  • This is the first paper to examine the implications of Covid-19 for vaccination markets, focusing on vaccine inequities.

What are the Report's Key Findings?

Vaccine Inequity is Not a Unique:

It demonstrates that inequitable distribution is not limited to Covid-19 vaccines, with low-income nations continuously unable to get vaccines unjustly high-demand by high-income countries. Global inequities are exacerbated by a lack of vaccination supplies and poor distribution.

  • Despite accounting for a large proportion of the disease burden, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination against cervical cancer has only been adopted in 41% of low-income nations, compared to 83% of high-income ones.

Price Differences:

A significant barrier to vaccination availability is cost. While prices are often graded by income, pricing inequalities result in middle-income nations paying the same - or even more - for certain vaccination items as wealthy countries.

The Free-Market Dynamics:

Some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable individuals are being denied access to health due to free market dynamics. As a result, significant changes are required in the global vaccination industry to save lives, prevent disease, and prepare for future disasters.

Increase in Size During Health Emergencies:

In 2021, over 16 billion vaccine doses were delivered, valued at US$ 141 billion, nearly three times the 2019 market volume (5.8 billion) and nearly three-and-a-half times the 2019 market value (US$ 38 billion).

The Covid-19 vaccinations were principally responsible for the increase, demonstrating the enormous potential of how vaccine manufacture may be ramped up in response to health requirements.

Concentrated Manufacturing Base:

  • Despite growing global industrial capacity, it remains heavily concentrated.
  • Only ten manufacturers supply 70% of vaccination doses (excluding COVID-19).
  • Several of the top 20 most commonly used vaccinations (including PCV, HPV, measles, and rubella vaccines) are presently primarily supplied by two companies.
  • In 2021, the African and Eastern Mediterranean areas relied on producers based overseas for 90% of their vaccine purchases.

Because of the concentration of industry, there is a danger of shortages and regional supply instability.

The ability to establish and use local manufacturing capacity is further constrained by entrenched intellectual property monopolies and limited technological transfer.

Other than Covid-19, there has been little investment in vaccines:

Market health is also an issue for certain vaccinations widely used in crises, such as those against cholera, typhoid, smallpox/monkeypox, Ebola, and meningococcal illness, when demand spikes with outbreaks and is, therefore, less predictable.

The ongoing underinvestment in these vaccinations might have disastrous consequences for people's lives.

IA2030 (Immunization Agenda, 2030):

The research underlines the opportunity for more vaccine development, production, and distribution to better align with a public health agenda to achieve the Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) goals and influence pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response activities.

What are the Report's Recommendations?

For governments:

  • Make clear vaccination strategies and increase your investment.
  • Increase your control over vaccine development, production, and distribution.
  • Place a premium on regional research and manufacturing centres.
  • Create pre-agreed-upon standards for government participation on problems such as vaccine distribution, intellectual property, and input and goods circulation in times of shortage.

For Industry:

  • Concentrate research efforts on WHO-priority pathogens.
  • Maintain transparency.
  • Facilitate the transmission of technologies.
  • Commit to precise metrics of equity-driven allocation.

International organizations and partners should consider the following:

  • Prioritize the targets of the Immunization Agenda 2030.
  • Encourage country-led efforts.
  • Push for the implementation of market transparency resolutions.

Source: DTE