Lots of work going on today, so let me just send the readership to this excellent article about Novavax, by Jason Mast at Endpoints. That vaccine has moved into even more prominence lately with the recent adenovirus vaccine events, and it seems clear that it could be a big part of getting the world vaccinated. But it’s been hard to get all the parts moving at the same time, and Mast’s piece goes into great detail about it all.
It’s also a look at the “How come we can’t just get all the companies to make all the vaccines” question, not to mention the “If we’d just abolish the patents everything would be so much better” idea. The logistics and technology-transfer issues are (sadly) more complicated than that. Abolishing patents will not provide more shaker bags or more Chilean tree bark, nor provide more of the key filtration materials needed for production. These processes have a lot of potential choke points and rate-limiting steps in them, and there is no wand that will wave that complexity away.
But I do hope that Novavax lifts off soon, in both the regulatory and production senses. Here in the US, people are starting to get used to the idea that the end of the pandemic is in sight, but a look at India shows that the global view isn’t so rosy. We can still mess this up, even with vaccines in hand, and we’d better not.