31st January, 2021
Now is the time for collaboration and free movement on COVID-19 vaccines supply – IPHA
The call for calm by the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning in relation to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines was correct.
We all want a way out of the pandemic. We want a route back to normality or, at least, some version of it.
There are more than 50 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in clinical trials. So far, the European Medicines Agency has approved three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, with more due for assessment shorty.
Companies without vaccines are lending manufacturing capacity and expertise to make more doses.
We are taking major steps forward, enabled by the efforts of the biopharmaceutical industry, in partnership with academia, regulators and governments around the world.
The manufacture of medicines and vaccines can be scattered across territories and countries and, often, across sites. Global supply chains are vital, whether for moving ingredients of medicines and vaccines or the finished products.
Now is not the time for vaccine protectionism.
Manufacturing sites should not face restrictions. The establishment by the European Commission of an export authorisation system for COVID-19 vaccines could jeopardise their supply to people in Europe and around the world.
Introducing export obstructions could severely limit manufacturers’ capacity to meet global demand.
Vaccine manufacturers are scaling production at unprecedented speed. Sometimes, things can go wrong. Fluctuations in the supply of doses, though frustrating, can be a feature of manufacturing complex biological products. But companies are working as fast as they can to protect everyone.
This is a time for collaboration and common purpose. Everyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one. We need to be able to rely on the resilience of the global medicines supply chains to distribute vaccines unhindered.