COVID-19 Impact on Vaccine in Healthcare Industry
The COVID-19 has posed a complex challenge in front of different biotech companies, which has badly impacted the worldwide market. However, it has boosted the growth of companies involved in vaccine development, as there is great need of vaccine which can act against coronavirus and prevent this deadly disease.
Along with COVID-19 vaccines, there are various kinds of vaccines which are administered to people of different age groups in order to prevent them from different kinds of infectious diseases. These vaccines manufacturing process and administration process has been affected due to limited access to healthcare facilities and fear of getting COVID-19 infections.
· In July 2020, around 80 million children who are under the age of one year have been reported to face some kind of disturbance mainly because of limited healthcare facilities access and threat of getting COVID-19 infections.
· In July 2020, WHO and UNICEF warned against the rapid decline in the number of children who have received life-saving vaccines and had stated that all this has happened due to disruptions in uptake and delivery of immunization services as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 disease is a major threat to people who already have existing medical complications such as diabetes, pneumonia, and tuberculosis among others. This thus enhances the people attention towards preventing themselves from such infectious disease so that the chances of getting COVID-19 infection reduce.
As the prevalence of infectious disease is increasing worldwide, it has become important to provide patients with proper vaccination during the prevailing pandemic of COVID-19, this is the reason why biotech companies and government are taking several steps in order to deal with cumbersome conditions.
As no treatment has been discovered yet for coronavirus, the fear of getting infection led the people to remain safe at their home, as a result of which various businesses around the world are suffering a lot involving biotech companies among others.
Various companies are working on vaccine development process, on other hand, several companies have signed deals with government of other countries in order to reserve their vaccine distribution, so as to earn benefit.
The cost of COVID-19 vaccines is likely to decrease due to high concern towards remaining prevented from deadly infectious diseases even during such a pandemic.
· As per the news of 2020, Moderna Inc., a company recently working on mRNA-1273 vaccine which will act against the deadly coronavirus, stated that it will provide its vaccine at a cost of USD 32.00 to USD 37.00 to public.
· According to the news of August, 2020, Pfizer Inc. has signed an agreement with government to provide 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine at a cost of USD 1.95 billion. This agreement will allow government to access coronavirus vaccine at a cost of USD 20.00 per dose.
Moreover, increasing prevalence of COVID-19 all around the world is also responsible for increasing the demand of COVID-19 vaccines at low cost.
All these factors thus signifies that increasing cases of COVID-19 led to the enhanced concern for government authorities and many other healthcare organizations towards the welfare of country people. This concern allowed the vaccine manufacturing companies to sign deal for vaccines at lower costs.
Thus, COVID-19 impact has expected to decrease the price of vaccines in the market.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
The coronavirus has affected the various regions of the world and caused widespread closure of companies and local manufacturing plants. This lockdown and isolation has adversely impacted the global economic activity.
Surge in COVID-19 cases is expected to enhance the number of deaths caused by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. This concern puts a major emphasis over the need of vaccination.
In order to prevent tuberculosis and malaria among many more diseases, children are provided with vaccination.
The demand of vaccination has decreased due to several reasons which include fear of parents towards their children health which makes them not to take them to clinics and other government organizations in order to receive effective vaccination.
Moreover vaccine administrators have also been diverted from their responsibility, as they are scared of coronavirus.
Lack of protective equipment is one of the other major reason which poses challenge in front of physicians to treat a large number of people.
This signifies that increasing fear among people led to few vaccinations in 2020 which demonstrates the decrease in vaccine demand for various types of infectious diseases except COVID-19 due to prevailing coronavirus infections.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY
Due to pertinacious COVID-19 lockdown, sanctions have been imposed by governments of various countries. These restrictions and barriers across countries borders led to a decrease in supply of vaccines across the borders.
As per the report published by UNICEF on June 2020, it has been stated that in week of March 22nd, a collapse has been taken place in airline industry which has adversely impacted the shipment of vaccines. The report also suggested that currently the improvement in airline and shipments is increasing but up to a limited extent.
Due to supply disruption of vaccines, the countries across West and Central Africa, East and Southern Africa, East Asia and South Asia had reported that the vaccine stocks of their countries has reached to critical levels, these includes various types of vaccines involving pentavalent (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), bacillus calmette-guérin (BCG), hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza (type b), rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
Moreover, UNICEF, WHO and GAVI had reported suspension of their vaccination programs due to delay in shipments.
· In July 2020, a new published entitled “COVID-19 Disrupted Pneumococcal Vaccine Procurement, MOH Still Working On Supply”, this has been depicted that pandemic of COVID-19 has led to delay in the procurement process of pneumococcal vaccine which can be proved to be a cause of rising pneumococcal infection to vast children population present worldwide.
· In May 2020, a total of 99 countries have been reported the delay of immunization program due to inefficient vaccine supply because of constant lockdown.
· In May 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) warned about the risk to millions of children which are unable to get routine vaccination just because of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic all over. This healthcare organization suggested that lockdowns and cutbacks in commercial flights have led to delayed supply of vaccines, which is one of the major factors responsible for children not achieving proper vaccination.
This thus signifies that due to continuous lockdown and several restrictions by government authorities, the companies and patients are facing disruption of supply chain for various kinds of vaccines. Moreover, delay in vaccine supply leads to extreme loss to vaccine manufacturing companies because of vaccine expiry during such a long term period.
STRATEGIC DECISIONS OF MANUFACTURERS
Collaboration, agreements, strategic initiatives by market players such as Novartis AG, AstraZeneca and Vaxxas among others in the vaccine market will help them to expand their product portfolio and to provide with the most innovative and appropriate vaccine involving COVID-19 vaccine to physicians and patients. This in turn will lead to increasing product sales and hence will put a positive impact on overall company’s revenue.
Vaccine manufacturing companies are taking so many strategic decisions in order to cope up with the current scenario of COVID-19. The companies engaged in manufacturing of vaccines are collaborating so as to accelerate the development of various kinds of vaccines.
The companies have already taken several kinds of strategic initiatives in order to cope up with the corona virus situation.
· In August 2020, European Commission has signed an agreement with AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine. As per the agreement, the commission will purchase 300 million diseases of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca. This initiative helped the company to earn more benefit and to enhance its overall revenue.
· In July 2020, Vaxxas went under partnership with Merck and Harro Hofliger with an aim to commercialize its HD-MAP technology, used for vaccine delivery via nanopatch, a needle free vaccine delivery technology. Through this partnership, the company has received USD 18.00 million from Merck, which helped it to boost up its vaccine development procedure.
· In June 2020, Novartis AG went under partnership with Massachusetts Eye and Ear General Hospital for producing a novel vaccine against the coronavirus. As per the deal, AveXis will provide with its expertise and technology needed for vaccine development procedure. This initiative has helped the company to enhance its platform with the addition of new coronavirus vaccine in its product portfolio.
· In April 2020, AJ Vaccines received pre-qualification for Picovax, an inactivated polio vaccine from WHO. This initiative helped the company to boost its product portfolio amid COVID-19 against the most threatening polio disease.
· In March 2020, CureVac has signed a deal with the U.S. President Donald Trump for development of CoV vaccine by utilizing its mRNA platform. This initiative helped the company to raise its potential for vaccine development.
· In March 2020, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. received USD 5.00 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for accelerating the manufacturing process of CELLECTRA 3PSP proprietary smart device for delivery of COVID-19 vaccine.
With the increasing demand of effective COVID-19 vaccines, the urgent need of COVID-19 vaccine among other vaccines is increasing which is responsible for fueling up the growth of the vaccine market.
Thus, the companies operating in the vaccine market are adopting several strategies including collaboration, agreements, partnership and market expansion to enhance their business. These strategic decisions by the companies are expected to provide significant opportunities for the market players operating in the vaccine market.
The pandemic of COVID-19 has resulted in several restrictions throughout the borders which led to decline in vaccine stocks, such as vaccines for polio, tuberculosis among others. However, the urgent demand of COVID-19 vaccine allowed the manufacturers to boost up their vaccine manufacturing activities, which allows them to compensate their decline of revenue. Moreover, various kinds of strategic initiatives taken by market players also helped them to make a constant position in the vaccine market.