It’s been a long year. Dealing with the pandemic has thrown the medical industry for a loop, overworking everyone from medical staff to investigators. When vaccines got approval for use, the world began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, it’s starting to dim and seem much further away than before due to talks of production delays. The delays are caused by several kinks in the production, shipment, and dispersal of the vaccine, making the end to this global pandemic seem further than we expected.
Short on Materials
First off, with all biotech industries involved in the production of the Covid-19 vaccine in a rush to meet demands, they’re buying up material. Each company has its own mixture of materials to make its version of the vaccine, relying on their availability for rapid production. What each company has in common are the essentials needed like test tubes and medical-grade glass. The demand for these essentials causes a bottleneck effect, further pushing back production. Producers of these laboratory essentials are falling behind, unable to supply materials needed to keep up with the manufacturing of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Bans on Export
The European Union (EU) was hit hard with Covid-19, especially in Italy, France, and Poland. News of a vaccine on the way gave hope to the country. I caused several governments to step up to the plate to get the most at-risk of the population pushed to the front of the list. However, what seemed like a no-fail plan moved the EU to place bans on exports, noticing that many producers within the country were exporting to the United Kingdom (UK). These strict bans held up the vaccine from reaching other countries, creating a hold-up where perhaps it is needed the most.
Get in Line
Some countries have set up a system to get their most vulnerable population vaccinated first. Other countries have enough to get in line and take your shot if you want it. However, what’s worrisome is what the shortage could mean for poorer countries that were already on the back burner. The EU plans to have all of their essential and front-line workers vaccinated by the end of March. The same goes for the United States and the UK. One Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report estimated that, at this rate, poorer countries would not have the possibility to vaccinate until late 2023 “if at all.”
Is the End Really Near?
Just when the good news hit and talks of Covid-19’s end spread, began issues with the vaccine. Though optional, countries may restrict travel from individuals who have not decided to get the vaccine in fear of another outbreak. With the world’s wealthiest countries struggling to keep up with demands, they may not see entire vaccinated populations until the end of 2022. Poorer countries are left to wait around and see, only getting the opportunity to get vaccinated once everyone else is. We hoped this would be over soon, but it looks like we’ll have to hold on a little longer than we thought.