Between six and nine months. That is the shelf life of Covid vaccines. A time that is about to run out in more than 240 million doses.
According to data compiled by Airfinity, 241.4 million vaccines purchased by the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom will expire in March. A forecast that is based on supply, doses administered and donations.
This problem could be solved if the vaccines were already sent to poor countries. Matt Linley, principal analyst at Airfinity, recalls that “countries need these vaccines to have a minimum shelf life of two months; otherwise, there is not enough time to get them to the people who need them.”
At the moment, the figure that Airfinity forecasts for vaccines that will expire in just two and a half months is 241 million. However, this amount could be increased to 500 million dosesLinley warns.
A situation that occurs in full expansion of the omicron variant. It was at the end of November that this new strain of Covid-19 was first detected in South Africa. Since then, the number of infections has grown exponentially around the world.
Airfinity co-founder and CEO Rasmus Bech Hansen insists that “there are surplus doses available that risk going to waste if not shared soon. The appearance of omicron and the probability of future variants indicate that there is no time to lose.
In addition, the organization recalls that poor countries have already rejected more than 100 million vaccines last December due to its short useful life. “These figures show that vaccinating the world is now very much a distribution issue and not a supply issue,” adds Hansen.
As of December 2021, pharmaceutical companies have produced nearly 11 billion coronavirus vaccines, according to figures handled by Airfinity. An amount that will triple in 2022.
According to the figures provided by the organization to this newspaper, the production capacity of vaccines against Covid-19 will grow month by month by approximately 2,000 million doses. A) Yes, by December 2022, more than 34.8 billion antigens will have been manufactured.
Enough quantity to put up to four injections to the entire world population. In other words, there will be no supply problems to administer the booster dose as long as there is equitable access to the vaccines.
Airfinity’s forecasts take into account up to 15 vaccines against Covid-19, although not all developers of these antigens have the same production capacity. In fact, there are six that bring together the bulk of dose manufacturing: Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Janssen and Moderna.
Evolution of global vaccination
Currently, 59.6% of the world population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. An amount that drops to 50.8% in the case of the complete guideline.
In total, 9.6 billion doses have been administered worldwide. Nevertheless, only 9.5% of people in low-income countries have received at least one doseaccording to data from Our World in Data.
In Spain, 90.5% of the population over 12 years of age already has the complete vaccination schedule against Covid-19. With regard to minors between 5 and 11 years of age, almost 40% have already received the first dose.
In addition, the administration of the booster vaccine is also picking up pace. Until now, this third dose was being injected to those over 40 years of age, but the Public Health Commission agreed this Thursday to extend it to the group between 18 and 39 years of age.