• A vaccine has never been developed, tried, tested and manufactured faster than the COVID-19 vaccines have.
  • More than 11 billion vaccine doses will be produced by the end of this year, with December production alone set to reach almost 1.5 billion doses.
  • It’s even more important to rethink global vaccine distribution in 2022 in order to reduce vaccine inequality, says the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.

As the world braces for the Omicron wave and booster campaigns are gaining steam, vaccine supply has once again come into focus in many countries. Germany’s new health secretary Karl Lauterbach for example rang the alarm bells this week, saying that the country is likely to run into supply constraints in the first quarter of 2022, potentially disrupting the ongoing booster campaign as well as efforts to close Germany’s sizeable vaccination gap.

The fact that vaccines are still in short supply in many places says more about distribution and the state of the pandemic after almost two years than it does about global production capacities. Never before has a vaccine been developed, tried, tested and manufactured faster than the Covid-19 vaccines have. And once the vaccines were widely approved, the manufacturing scale-up has been nothing short of historic.

According to Airfinity data released by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers’ Network (DCVMN), and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), more than 11 billion vaccine doses will be produced by the end of this year, with December production alone set to reach almost 1.5 billion doses. If production continues at the current rate, a total of 19.8 billion vaccine doses could be produced by the end of the first half of 2022, which is equivalent to 2.5 doses for every person in the world.

Vaccines, Health and healthcare, Gavi

What is the World Economic Forum doing about access to vaccines?

In 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, with an initial pledge of $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The aim of Gavi is to make vaccines more accessible and affordable for all - wherever people live in the world.

Along with saving an estimated 10 million lives worldwide in less than 20 years,through the vaccination of nearly 700 million children, - Gavi has most recently ensured a life-saving vaccine for Ebola.

At Davos 2016, we announced Gavi's partnership with Merck to make the life-saving Ebola vaccine a reality.

The Ebola vaccine is the result of years of energy and commitment from Merck; the generosity of Canada’s federal government; leadership by WHO; strong support to test the vaccine from both NGOs such as MSF and the countries affected by the West Africa outbreak; and the rapid response and dedication of the DRC Minister of Health. Without these efforts, it is unlikely this vaccine would be available for several years, if at all.

Read more about the Vaccine Alliance, and how you can contribute to the improvement of access to vaccines globally - in our Impact Story.

Considering these figures, it’s even more important to rethink global vaccine distribution in 2022 in order to reduce vaccine inequality. “Vaccine manufacturers have delivered on their promise of innovation breakthroughs and have been ramping up manufacturing output to historic levels,” Thomas Cueni, Director General of the IFPMA said in a statement. “We’re ready to continue innovating in the light of new variants, and to persevere in our efforts to produce more doses, but we call for greater commitment and urgency to remove the barriers which prevent getting vaccine into people’s arms,” he said with respect to the unequal distribution of vaccines.

 cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses produced worldwide by the end of the respective months.
The end of December shows the highest vaccine doses produced.
Image: Statista