Policy ForumCOVID-19: Economics

Market design to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine supply

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Science  12 Mar 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6534, pp. 1107-1109
DOI: 10.1126/science.abg0889

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  • RE: Supply Chains and COVID-19 Vaccines: The Need for Speed

    There is no questioning the need for speed in producing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines from medical, economic, financial, and social perspectives.

    The detailed and informative research by a team of experts makes it clear that improving market design is essential for accelerating the global supply of safe, effective, and temporally durable vaccines.

    Reducing the number of shots, as well as the duration between the prime and booster shots for a two-shot regime, to a single shot would contribute to improving the supply chain, as would lowering the dose of any shot.

    If global herd immunity is to be achieved, a high proportion of the global population will need to be vaccinated, as the infection strategy has a number of associated risks, including a failure to reach a sufficiently high percentage (usually estimated to be at least 80%) of the global population that recovers from infection.

    The mantra from the film "Top Gun" was "I feel the need … the need for speed!", which can be facilitated by international organizations, such as the WHO, becoming involved in the global supply chain strategy.

    The consequences in not accelerating the need for speed in supplying and distributing COVID-19 vaccines will be an unwanted continuation of the pandemic, with dire consequences for the global community.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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