What’s been happening in the commercial world over the last two weeks? Read on to find out!
These past two weeks have seen encouraging news regarding COVID-19 vaccines. To date, the UK has secured 355m orders of vaccines across several candidate companies.
Pfizer and BioNTech were first to unveil their 95% effective vaccine, which they believe they can supply using their existing cold chain infrastructure to supply 50m vaccines in 2020 and 1.3bn by the end of 2021. The German pharmaceutical company BioNTech has outlined that to be effective, the vaccine needs to be kept at -70 degrees celsius, much colder than the average freezer. This is one of the main challenges for immunization managers. The UK has ordered 40m doses of the vaccine.
American biotechnology company Moderna announced their 94.5% effective vaccine only days later. Although the first 20m doses will be kept for US citizens, Moderna hopes it can produce over one billion doses for global use in 2021. the UK has secured 5m doses of the vaccine.
This week, British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca declared their vaccine as between 70-90% effective. The vaccine does not need to be stored in special temperatures (unlike Pfizer’s) and limited quantities can be available for the end of 2020. AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which was developed with the University of Oxford, is estimated to be the cheapest and become the most widely used in the UK. The government has already secured 100m doses of the vaccine.
Russia has also announced a 92% effective Sputnik V vaccine. However, little information is known so far of the conditions and price and the UK has not placed any orders.
Whilst both Pfizer and Moderna saw increases in their share price, AstraZeneca saw a fall of 3.8% after the announcement. AstraZeneca has made it clear that they will not earn profits from international bodies and governments from initial orders.
We are still awaiting results from the clinical trials of: Valneva, Novavax, Janssen and GSK/Sanofi.
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