AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are essential resources in developing countries where Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are not widely available.
Both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been subject to heavy scrutiny considering how they have recently become the speculated cause for rare blood coagulation among the recipients of the vaccines. These events have given their way to apprehension over how developing nations are going to receive and utilize these vaccines where costlier alternatives like Moderna and Pfizer are not the most favored options, for obvious reasons.
Rare Side Effects Of The Vaccines Arouse Hesitancy Among The Public
The administration of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines this year generated a wave of optimism and hope in the United States and also helped President Biden to attempt to achieve his ambitious goals.
However, the wonderful success of the mRNA vaccines was overshadowed by the condition of the rest of the world. The vaccines formulated by Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which are predicted to become the backbone of global supply, remain limited.
The halt in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as urged by the United States on Tuesday, stirred up questions about the possibility of causing blood clots. This incident reflected a similar issue regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, which also became the cause for blood clots among recipients in the UK. Both vaccines have been developed using viral vector technology. AstraZeneca’s vaccine has not yet been approved for public use in the United States.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines were manufactured and administered quickly and the early batches were collected by the United States and other economically stronger nations using advance purchase contracts.
The drug companies of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson aim at producing economically convenient vaccines so that they can be accessed by the entire globe. They have also established global contacts and manufacturing networks so as to produce billions of doses for the entire planet. They have an upper hand over the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines because unlike them, the AstraZeneca and the Janssen vaccines do not need extreme cold storage. Additionally, they have also been priced far lower than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Krishna Udayakumar, who serves as the director for the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, believes that with the mRNA based vaccines being procured by the high-income nations, the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines remain crucial for the middle and low-income nations, especially for Africa and India. He also believes that the perks of the vaccines far outnumber the downsides that might result from the jabs, considering the dangers posed by the vicious coronavirus.
Both the pharmaceutical giants of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have made promises of producing vaccines in large quantities, with the former promising to manufacture 3 billion doses this year and the latter promising to produce 1 billion doses this year. Both have also promised to sell hundreds of millions of vaccines through Covax, a global initiative founded by the WHO, aimed at enabling widespread access to Covid-19 vaccinations.
However, the companies have come nowhere near to producing those numbers and to make it only worse, safety questions are surfacing amid global scarcity of vaccines. Pharmaceutical firms have collectively promised to manufacture 10 billion doses in 2021. But, only 900 million doses have been delivered so far and only around eight months remain in this year.
Poorer nations are not expected to receive a wide access to immunizations before 2023 or 2024. However, obstacles like these could push it much further into the future.