The vaccines are coming — and so are a world of fresh Covid-19 challenges

'It's going to be an extraordinary logistic challenge,' one former official said. 'I just hope it works.'

11/27/2020 10:05:00 AM

Rolling out a Covid-19 vaccine to even a fraction of the world's 7.8 billion people will require conquering an epic supply-chain challenge at a scale that dwarfs any other in history.

'It's going to be an extraordinary logistic challenge,' one former official said. 'I just hope it works.'

— and it aims to supply vaccines to 20 percent of the population in each of its 180 participating countries.It's unclear whether COVAX would be expected or prepared to pay the full price if the Pfizer-BioNTech drug is approved first.The Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech is among those developing a vaccine candidate.

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Thomas Peter / ReutersUnlike other companies that took large amounts of public money and vowed to sell vaccines at nonprofit prices, Pfizer and BioNTech opted for a different route. They rejected White House investment, instead mostly self-funding at risk and selling for a profit, at $19.50 per shot in the U.S.

The investment bank Morgan Stanley projects that their drug could generate $15 billion in revenue this year and the next.The question is whether COVAX would want to pay a premium now or wait for a cheaper option to gain approval. It has already signed a deal to buy 300 million doses of

Oxford. That one did take public money, including at least $1 billion from the U.S., and it is being sold at cost, around $3 to $5 per dose, during this phase of the pandemic, at least."That does pose a dilemma for COVAX," said Frank Lichtenberg, a Columbia Business School professor who specializes in drug pricing."Given the urgency of the pandemic, you'd think they might leap for the earlier vaccine. Although, once other vaccines come on the market, the price will come down."

Pfizer said it was unable to comment about ongoing negotiations. A spokesman for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is co-leading COVAX, declined to offer specifics but said that with any purchase it would"look for the lowest price available, given the volume it represents and populations it serves."

Nurses working with the World Health Organization prepare to administer Ebola vaccines in Mbandaka, Congo, in May 2018.Junior Kannah / AFP - Getty Images fileOther industry insiders are eager to avoid a repeat of the spring, when countries, states and hospitals

tried to outbid one anotherin a chaotic scramble for personal protective equipment."It's hard to overstate just how fractious and febrile that market became," a senior figure at a leading British medical supplies company said."A not-dissimilar scenario might happen with vaccines," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the company's involvement in procurement activity."The front-runners are going to find that everyone is beating a path to their door — and all at the same time."

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Even if the labyrinthine logistics puzzle is solved, public health workers must then persuade patients to take the shots.An Ipsos poll of18,000 people in 27 countriesin August found that more than a quarter said they would shun any vaccine approved by regulators. In Russia, Poland, Hungary and France, the proportion of naysayers rises to more than 40 percent.

Anti-vaccine activists have seized upon the cutting-edge technology used by several front-runners, including Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, as evidence that the vaccines are unsafe. The drugs involve insertingspecial code called mRNAinto the body, tricking it into developing an immune response.

Experts dismiss the conspiracy theories, which claim that the mRNA will allow people's DNA to be controlled or altered. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech say their trials have shown no serious side effects.For Michel Zaffran, the WHO's outgoing director of polio eradication, the issue of trust, rather than logistics, is the biggest challenge.

"There needs to be a lot of communication with the communities for them to understand what the vaccine is about, for them to accept the vaccines," he said."There is a real danger if there's any kind of suspicion or resistance."

Read more: NBC News »

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Nothing to do with a current or future presidents. and at prices poor countries and communities that are easily affordable, and without partisan politics. It's not cash so they don't have to worry about leftist and socialist governments stealing and hoarding it. Is this really a problem we should be reporting on yet? I would think by time we are dealing with central Africa other products with more favorable storage will be available?

Will this vaccine succeed? It takes competence and cooperation. The right leadership can accomplish this challenge. Count me in when trump has NOTHING to do with it. I trust Joe. trump will try to kill all Democrats. Better start with Americans only, to keep things simple at first. ill pass Sell them at gas stations/convenient shops. These reach 100% of the population, anywhere. Place them into beer fridge/containers. Alternatively, make it illegal, like heroine. That will guarantee distribution and entice consumers to seek it, rather than waiting see if it’s safe.

Mother Nature has more and better viruses to come . If we don’t balance our CO2 use, chemical use and population growth, it’s our own fault Coming from a State in Australia that is coming out of our 2nd wave,0 cases for 27 days I know the C19 experience. We had a curfew, masks, restrictions on hospitality and retail, these actions work,no miracles, low cost, major benefits.I get the issues, I implore you do similar.

Troy2k They’ll have to replicate the smallpox eradication effort. With a much larger population than back in the 60s and 70s. Why is that our job? They can dock a boat at the port and come and get it themselves. The world should put their mathematical genuineness in charge of this endeavor. Not people who think they are super smart but those who truly are super smart.

Yeah. Well. Maybe. By the time all the various countries wade thru all their petty jealousies and miles of red tape, there'll only be about 4.5, maybe 5 bil left tops anyway. So what's the rush? Richest countries get it first... you watch. An absolutely crazy notion for a +99% survival rate. It can be done. Remember the Berlin embargo during the Cold War? By the way. Can we call it “The Biden Vaccine”? Please let’s spread the word we want to call the COVID vaccine after JoeBiden, The Biden Vaccine!😇❤️ BidenVaccine TrumpMeltdown AMERICAISBACK

CALL-CONTACT Cyrus Vance Jr & Letitia James of NY (DAILY) to PROSECUTE 45 for ALL of it! He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with DECADES of his BullSH! Dude needs some PRISON time... for COVID deaths at the very least ! Rudy G too...& ALSO..Happy Thanksgiving 🦃! It is very good One step at a time. US development partnership with pharma. US primary consideration.

THANKS TRUMP FOR A VACCINE there's no worldwide coordination, mostly due to Trump's intragengience, and unless that gets sorted out, it will take decades