09 Mar 2021
This is a joint press release issued by Chatham House, IFPMA, BIO, DCVMN, and CEPI.
9 March 2021: Chatham House, in collaboration with COVAX, IFPMA, DVCMN, and BIO, convened a Global COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chain & Manufacturing Summit on 8th and 9th March. The unprecedented scaling up of vaccine manufacturing, from zero to billions of doses in record time, has led to shortages that are impacting the entire vaccine supply chain. Open dialogue among manufacturers, suppliers, international organizations and governments is urgently needed to address these shortages so that they do not interrupt vaccine manufacturing. The meeting aimed to kick start the dialogue to identify, understand, and discuss potential solutions for these supply chain challenges. Held under the Chatham House Rule, the meeting provided the opportunity for frank, open and problem-solving discussions while respecting anti-trust rules.
A discussion document was prepared to help inform participants, giving an overview of the current landscape of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and emerging supply chain challenges. Vaccine manufacturers, and suppliers of vaccine components, are part of a global supply chain that is scaling up from zero to billions of doses in record time and tripling previous annual vaccine output. As founding partners of COVAX, vaccine manufacturers are playing their part in achieving fair and equitable access to vaccines. COVID-19 is an exceptional crisis of global magnitude with several unforeseen and shifting challenges and complexities.
Vaccine manufacturing processes (upstream, downstream, fill-and-finish) are highly complex and involve cutting-edge science and technologies. Effective manufacturing capacity expansion needs to overcome major challenges, including but not limited to the need for highly specialised equipment, qualified and trained personnel, difficult and time-consuming technology transfers, and, not least, managing complex international supply chains frequently involving more than 100 components.
All stakeholders agreed there is a need to expand capacity and in a way that promotes equitable access and leaves no one behind. Other approaches were discussed including:
Free flow of goods and workforce;
Continue technology transfer and manufacturing partnerships between innovators and manufacturers to scale up and scale out COVID19 vaccine capacity;
Better demand forecasting and inventory management of raw materials and critical consumables;
Support from the highest political level is needed;
Value of regulatory harmonization and streamlining to accelerate manufacturing capacity and supply;
Better production, demand and supply, forecast and visibility;
Give consideration to the potential impacts of COVID-19 production on non-COVID products.
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA)
President and CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
President, Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network (DCVMN)
WHO Chief Scientist
The Landscape of Current COVID-19 Supply Chain and Manufacturing Capacity, Potential Challenges, Initial Responses, and Possible “Solution Space” Discussion document and its Appendix are available to view.
Stuart Coles [email protected]
Abigail Jones [email protected]
Scott Frotman [email protected]
Rajinder Suri [email protected]
Rachel Grant [email protected]
The mission of Chatham House is to be a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. Chatham House was founded in 1920 and is based in St James’s Square, London.
IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. IFPMA collaborates with the United Nations and other organisations to contribute to industry expertise in helping the global health community find solutions that improve global health. IFPMA is a founding partner of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator of which the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) is a key pillar. IFPMA members are fully committed to the goal of COVAX to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.
BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.
Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network (DCVMN) is a voluntary public health-driven alliance of vaccine manufacturers from developing countries, firmly engaged in research, development, manufacturing and supply of high-quality vaccines that are accessible to protect people against known and emerging infectious diseases globally.
CEPI is an innovative global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations launched in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. Our mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.