Here’s how to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production

Sarah Liz Tribble, Arthur Allen, and Jay Hancock, by Liz Szabo

Thousands of Americans are dying of COVID-19, but efforts to increase production of potentially life-saving vaccines are hitting a brick wall.

Vaccine manufacturers Modern and Pfizer-BioNotech are running their factories fully and are under tremendous pressure to increase production or to establish additional assembly lines in collaboration with other pharmaceutical companies. This pressure is only increasing as new viral variants of the virus threaten to launch the country into a deadly phase of the epidemic.

President Joe Biden has said he plans to implement the Cold War-era Authority of Defense Production Act to provide more vaccines to millions of Americans. Consumer advocates — who had called Donald Trump as president to use the Defense Production Act more aggressively — are now asking Biden to do the same.

But even forcing companies should not give too much dose anytime soon. It takes time to expand production lines. The renovated facilities can take months to install lines.

“The big problem is that even if you can get the raw materials and set up the infrastructure, how can you find a company that is already producing at maximum capacity to go beyond the maximum capacity ? ” Said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University.

24/7 “ordering companies to work” would be a gullible solution, Drs. Nicole Lurie, a senior adviser to the CEO of the Alliance for Epidemic Preparation, is an international group that finances vaccines for emerging diseases. “They are probably already doing that they have the raw material.”


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