For $25 billion dollars (3% of the U.S. annual military budget) the world could establish regional manufacturing hubs to produce eight billion coronavirus vaccine doses in less than a year.
The report compiled by Dr. Zoltán Kis, a research associate at the Centre for Process Systems Engineering at Imperial College London, and Zain Rizvi, law and policy researcher in Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program, shows that with minimal investment by the wealthiest nations, enough vaccine supply could be produced to inoculate 80% of the population in low- and middle-income countries by May 2022. If present trends continue, impoverished nations in the Global South won't be vaccinated until 2024, experts say.
"The global vaccine apartheid is a policy choice," the People's Vaccine Alliance tweeted. "We have the means to end it."
Africa and Latin America have 0.17% and 2% of global vaccine production capacity, respectively, but Kis and Rizvi noted that the WHO has said: "19 manufacturers from more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have expressed interest in ramping up mRNA vaccine production."
Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen's Access to Medicines director, said in a statement, "It will require resources and coordination, but we know this can be done. The sooner we start, the more lives we will save and the faster our world will stop unravelling."