Wockhardt UK, a pharmaceutical manufacturer is working on an ambitious scale for vaccine production in support of current SARS-CoV-2 vaccine productions, according to CBS News.
With the latest data projecting 2.7M COVID-19 deaths worldwide by 2021, the company is dedicated to fixing potential issues of unprecedented supply chain needs. "I won't say it's a gamble. I would say this is investment in public health." said Ravi Limaye, managing director of Wockhardt UK.
According to the article, the factory is currently preparing by filling vials with water. Their goal is to mass produce a vaccine within weeks. According to Limaye, the company will be able to produce 240 million doses within a single year.
Wockhardt's efforts join forces with current supply chain challenges including the inventory of glass vials to hold the billions of doses, millions of which are already in production. According to a recent article in Marketplace, the director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Thomas Cueni was more optimistic.
When I think of the remarkable features of today’s collaborative effort, is everybody’s talking to everybody else, and if one vaccine doesn’t work, you can bet that there will be glass vials available, which will go to somebody else. I’ve seen this in the area of treatment development where you have seen announcements over the last just couple of weeks of big companies offering their manufacturing capacity to others....I think we will be able to sort out those logistical problems. It is daunting, and particularly in developing countries, but there one can benefit from the experience the expertise of the likes of GAVI, the [Vaccine Alliance], or UNICEF, who have done this very successfully for their immunization programs. And we may see that actually some countries where we will feel, 'oh my God, they’re so sophisticated,' they may not be as well-prepared as they think they are.
According to Oxfam, fair distribution may be a greater concern than our ability to produce at all, citing 13% of the world population have claimed 51% of projected doses, putting the majority of vaccine availability in the hands of the most wealthy countries.
Cueni does not share the outlook of Oxfam pointing to robust efforts in India. Indian pharmaceutical companies are currently slated to produce vaccines quickly and with availability in a country representing a large percentage of the world population overall.