A year and eight months after that infamous 11 March 2020 – when the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic – the world seems to be radically changed. Over the past months, we have all battled with losses of lives, health, and jobs – challenges that would leave anyone scarred. But at the beginning of 2021, the vaccine rollout campaigns around the world have given everyone hopes of an approaching new normal.
But what has enabled the largest global vaccine rollout in history? And what are the worldwide campaign’s challenges and outlook? Here’s an overview of the globe vaccinated in numbers.
Global Vaccine Rollouts: An Overview
According to OurWorldinData.org, just over 51% of the global population has received at least the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly 41% have received both doses. Thanks to a massive movement of people, resources, and systems, the countries around the world have been able to administer over 7.45 billion doses, at a rate of over 32 million doses a day.
What’s more, is that countries such as UAE, the UK, European states, and the United States have been able to vaccinate between 67% and 98% of their population. At the same time, it is impossible to forget that only 4.5% of people living in low-income countries have been able to receive the first vaccine dose. The percentage is far lower when looking at fully-vaccinated people.
Worldwide Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Chain Challenges
It is undeniable that the Covid-19 vaccines have changed the fate of millions of people around the world. Nonetheless, not all countries have been able to equally benefit from the rollouts.
Firstly, many developing countries – especially in African and certain Southeast Asia regions – rely on Covax deliveries. The scheme, which aims to make vaccines equally accessible for people around the world, is run by Gavi, the WHO, and CEPI. However, the number of doses that were meant to be delivered was cut by 25% to 1.4 billion doses. The cut, which is due to production challenges, slow regulatory approval processes, and global export bans, has impacted these countries’ situation.
Several new studies also recognised over 15 supply challenges related to the production and shipment of Covid-19 vaccines, including:
- Slow production and limited number of producers
- Lack of coordination with local organisations
- Cost of vaccination and lack of financial support
How Pharmaceutical Packaging is Enabling Vaccine Rollouts
The global pharmaceutical industry has been under a great deal of pressure throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccine production and rollouts. And yet, science, pharmaceuticals, and packaging industries are just a few of the many fields that had to evolve and innovate during the past months.
Today, vaccine packaging and “difficulties in monitoring and controlling vaccine temperature” still represent significant challenges in the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain.
At the same time, advancements in the pharmaceutical packaging fields – including standardised vaccine introduction toolkits and packaging models – have been able to prevent disruptions such as the February 2021 disposal of 144m Pfizer vaccine shots in Japan due to a syringe shortage.
Because of the conditions at which the vaccine needs to be kept and delivered, the challenge has never been as fierce for the pharmaceutical packaging industry. Nonetheless, companies working in the field continue to research and develop new Covid-19 vaccine packaging solutions that would make its shipment and delivery more affordable, efficient, and secure.
Covid-19 Vaccine: Results and Expectations
As Covid-19 vaccines are now being offered to children, it is the right time to look back at how far we have come. Comparing the levels of severe Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations, and deaths during the first wave of the pandemic with what happened after the start of the vaccine rollouts around the world, it is possible to see to which extent the vaccines are working.
Studies estimated that just in the US during the initial five months of the vaccine rollouts around 140,000 lives were saved, while as of November 2021, this estimation is as high as several million.
Additionally, the protection created by the vaccines can last for several months after the second dose, which, in turn, significantly reduces the level of transmission. All of this is slowly transforming the pandemic into an endemic disease, which can be far more easily managed by healthcare institutions and governments around the world. And, as the healthcare system manages to provide high levels of care, the number of deaths can be drastically reduced.
Learn More At Origin Pharmaceutical Packaging
At, Origin Pharmaceutical Packaging, our aim is to develop pharmaceutical packaging solutions for more accessible and affordable healthcare across the world. As we continue to work towards better Covid-19 vaccine packaging solutions, we also test innovative materials, sustainable and low-impact packaging, and resilient containers.