Pfizer requires 280 different materials or components from 19 countries to produce the Covid-19 vaccine.
“That’s the supply chain and this is pretty mind-boggling,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, said Thursday.
Therefore, according to her, export restrictions, prohibitions and the like should be discouraged.
The WTO allows restrictions, but they have to be temporary and transparent, at the same time that they must be notified to all Members of the Organization and be proportionate to the caustic situation.
Albert Bourla, president and CEO of Pfizer, highlighted when the company created our Covid-19 vaccine, there was no manufacturing output of any mRNA vaccine or drug anywhere in the world.
The company had to create a manufacturing infrastructure from scratch.
“With 172 years of tradition of quality manufacturing, a significant capital outlay, and most importantly, an army of highly trained scientists, engineers and manufacturing workers, we developed the most efficient manufacturing machine in a world in record time. life-saving vaccine that has ever existed in the world, ”Bourla said in a letter to company employees.
Currently, the infrastructure is not the bottleneck for the company to make the vaccine faster.
The restriction is the shortage of highly specialized raw materials needed to produce that vaccine.
“These 280 different materials or components are produced by many suppliers in 19 different countries. Many of them needed our substantial support (technical and financial) to increase their production. Right now, virtually every gram of raw material produced is immediately shipped to our manufacturing facilities and is immediately and reliably converted into vaccines that are immediately shipped worldwide (91 countries to date),” Bourla commented.
According to him, the proposed exemption for Covid-19 vaccines threatens to disrupt the flow of raw materials.
“It will unleash a fight for the critical supplies we need to make a safe and effective vaccine. Entities with little or no experience in vaccine manufacturing are likely to pursue the same raw materials we need to scale our production, putting everyone’s safety at risk,” he argued.