Risks and Challenges of the Global COVID-19 vaccine

Cancer day at AGCT GENOMICS

The world has seen great wave of resilience and heroic effort in facing the pandemic challenge. After the high stressing time when world experienced the historical lock down period, downscaling business and ordinary life activities, halted the human life globally. After the heroic quest of scientists to develop a coronavirus vaccine, its global rollout has started globally. The vaccines of the BioNTech and Pfizer partnership (Pfizer–BioNTech) and Moderna have received Emergency Use Authorization in number of countries. Many frontline workers and priority population segments have already received their first doses. Vaccines from other global players like AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and several other manufacturers are also arriving (or are expected to arrive soon) and are being distributed for administration around the world.  This heroic effort has shaken the previous research based vaccine development record.

To go back to post-pandemic era, Brobdingnagian numbers of dedicated field experts will have to continue working intensely in the months and years ahead.

Which also means that we would need vast batches of trained experts to fulfil the gap, in research & development.  At the vaccine receiving end, vulnerable populations are highly concerned - especially in developing countries - could face prepend more limitations, including difficulty in reaching vaccinations centers, getting time off from work for vaccination and financial restrictions. Historical wariness of interacting with health and counter measuring authorities can also be a limiting barrier. A further issue is vaccine skepticism, affecting a certain segment of all populations.  Globally continuous vaccine rollout would be needed to achieve herd immunity by October 2021. For that multiple doses would may be needed to finally mitigating the pandemic challenge but the continually mutating virus could become another challenge for vaccine manufactures as well as counter measuring the challenges may arise due to depilating mental health of affected and vulnerable populations.  Scientists, doctors, other healthcare workers, clinical-trial participants, and regulators are all in a intensely closed loop in trying to develop, distribute, and administer the vaccines that will help end this pandemic. Their often-heroic efforts give cause for hope.

Risk and Challenges

A series of complex challenges are still ahead of us, as production is ramped up and rollouts are planned and executed. Following few risks are pointed out as a critical emerging risk and challenges.

- Raw-materials constraints in production scaling
 - Quality-assurance challenges in manufacturing
 - Cold chain logistics and storage management challenges
 - Increased labor requirements
 - Wastage at points of care
 - IT challenges
There are several ways of mitigating above mentioned risks and challenges which are put in good detail by Mckinsey & Company.

- Building resilient raw-materials supplies
- Scaling manufacturing within quality guidelines
 - Optimizing the cold chain
 - Addressing labor shortages
 - Reducing spoilage at points of care
 - Meeting IT challenges

Covid 19 pandemic has shaped the world in a whole new way. This has openly challenged, the global existing capabilities and many countries including developed countries miserably failed in containing the pandemic. After the heroic attempt of scientific effort achieved a milestone of developing a vaccine in a record time. Now, as production is ramped up and rollouts are planned and executed. We are at new forefronts of emerging critical risks and challenges few of which this article has pointed out. Global collaborative research and the distributive network is the only way forward for containing current and upcoming pandemics.