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An environment that encourages biopharmaceutical innovations

An environment that encourages biopharmaceutical innovations

An environment conducive to biopharmaceutical innovation

Collaboration to share innovation has allowed manufacturing to increase from zero to 11.2 million doses in the year that has passed since the first coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), vaccine was administered.

Half of the world’s population was vaccinated within one year of receiving COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. Independent analysis by global health intelligence and analytics firmAirfinityprojects that by the end of March 2022, G7 and EU countries will have 1.4 billion surplus vaccines, enabling dose sharing.

As of Dec. 17, more than 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country, with 43 million Filipinos fully vaccinated, accounting for 56% of the governments target, according toActingPresidentialSpokesman Karlo Alexei B. Nograles. According to the Department of Healthsvaccination dashboard, 60 million were first doses while at least a million were booster shot. The government hopes to fully immunize 54 million Filipinos by 2021. Maria Rosario S.Vergeire, the Health Undersecretary, said that the country has an oversupply COVID-19 vaccines. She urged Filipinos not to be vaccinated and recommended booster shots.

Thomas B. Cueni director general of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations said that vaccine manufacturers have delivered on their promise of innovation breakthroughs, and have been increasing production to historic levels. We are ready to keep innovating in light of new variants and to continue our efforts to produce more vaccines. However, we need to be more determined and urgent in removing the obstacles that prevent vaccines from reaching people’s arms.

To scale up the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccinations in record time, new production lines were needed to produce millions of vaccines at the highest quality standards. They also required managing global supply chains for hundreds components and ingredients. There are more than 300 partnerships worldwide to increase manufacturing output. 229 of these deals include different forms of voluntary collaboration. These partnerships rely on technology transfer, sharing know-how about the process of making the vaccines, and training specialist personnel to ensure high quality standards.

Dose-sharing is growing in popularity to reach those who are not yet vaccinated. COVAX is expanding rapidly to ensure that doses are distributed equally around the globe. COVAX has shipped over 700 million doses to 144 nations, with nearly 1 billion ordered. The biopharmaceutical sector is calling for a reduction in the time it takes for vaccines to arrive.

Effective and flexible planning and coordination are essential for efficient and effective delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations. To safely deliver vaccines, it is important to have sufficient funding, human resources, infrastructure, and prioritization. You must pay attention to increasing cold chain capabilities from the airfields to reach the last mile and increasing the number of health workers who can deliver the vaccines in remote locations.

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IFPMA explained that vaccines must be approved by regulatory authorities before they can reach countries. This requires the World Health Organization and national regulatory authorities to work together to ensure that vaccines are approved at the national level so that doses can immediately be deployed. Further work is needed to address vaccine hesitancy. There are still pockets of people who, after 18 months worth of safety data and more than 8 billion doses administered across the globe, remain hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines.

2021 was a year that demonstrated the industry’s ability to adapt and respond to new challenges via biopharmaceutical innovations. If we are to tackle the challenges of the next year, including the emergence and development of new variants, innovation must continue. Even though some companies have failed, we are seeing a strong pipeline for innovation. New generations of vaccines and treatments will be developed if the environment is conducive to innovation and not discouraged by policies. These innovations could also come in easier-to-transport, store, and administer forms. These innovations could be introduced and incorporated into the country to save lives and help the healthcare system.

Teodoro B.Padilla is the executive Director of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines. This association represents the country’s biopharmaceutical medicine and vaccines industries. Its members are at forefront of research and development efforts in COVID-19 and other diseases affecting Filipinos.

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