Global Health Centre
22 May 2021

New Resource on COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing

Many vaccine developers are contracting with manufacturers to expand production capacity. However, there is little transparency on these arrangements, with inconsistent and incomplete publicly available information on expected number of doses, manufacturing timelines, and other elements. To provide some insight into the information that is available, the Global Health Centre has been tracking arrangements between Covid-19 vaccine developers and manufacturers. This new dataset contains 108 arrangements between 14 vaccine developers and 96 manufacturers based in 33 countries, and is being updated regularly with new information. This dataset provides information on, among other things, the geographic distribution of the arrangements; the projected number of doses; if the arrangements include a licensing or distribution component; anticipated market for the resultant vaccines; and whether these arrangements are linked to government purchase arrangements for vaccines.

Relationships between COVID-19 Vaccine Developers & Manufacturers, by country income groups

 The dataset shows that vaccine developers based in high-income countries have primarily selected manufacturing partners also based in high income countries (80%, 56/70). In contrast, vaccine developers from India (Bharat Biotech), China (Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSino), and Russia (Gamaleya) have primarily selected manufacturing partners that are also based in middle income countries (87%, 33/38).

There is little information on the precise details of these arrangements. For example, information on projected doses is absent for 40% (43/108) of the arrangements in the dataset. Where available, total projected doses range widely from 2 million to 1 billion total doses, and from 40 million to 1 billion doses/year. In addition, it is unclear for many of these arrangements what services are being provided (e.g., fill-and-finish or bulk substance production). Most of these arrangements appear to be solely for manufacturing, but a small proportion (13%, 14/108) are reported to include licensing or distribution rights.

The resultant vaccines will primarily or exclusively be sold in the country where the manufacturer is based in 38% (41/108) arrangements. However, the primary market is not specified for more than one-third (38/108) of the arrangements, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about intended markets.

Some manufacturing arrangements are linked to government purchase agreements. This is the case for approximately 38% (11/29) of manufacturing arrangements in upper MICS, 11% (2/18) in lower MICs, and fewer than one percent (3/61) in HICs.

COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing

Knowledge Portal on Innovation and Access to Medicines

Anna Bezruki is lead researcher for this initiative, responsible for data collection, curation, visualizations and analysis. Surabhi Agarwal, Adriàn Alonso Ruiz, Marcela Vieira and Suerie Moon are also contributing to this research.