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New Report: Navigating the World that COVID-19 Made: A Strategy for Revamping the Pandemic Research and Development Preparedness and Response Ecosystem

Center News


October 29, 2021  – Today the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Council on Foreign Relations released a new report urging governments, multilateral and international institutions, and private actors to act immediately to strengthen planning for future pandemic vaccines by incorporating lessons learned from successes and failures of the current global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

The new report, Navigating the World that COVID-19 Made: A Strategy for Revamping the Pandemic Research and Development Preparedness and Response Ecosystem, identifies how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and redefined the realities of the global vaccine research, development, production and delivery ecosystem, one which has so far failed in rapid, equitable allocation and distribution of vaccines globally.

“Most low- and middle-income countries have been unable to acquire and administer a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines, and the dearth of vaccines and limited capacity to deliver them are prolonging the pandemic and contributing to destabilizing economies and societies around the world,” the authors wrote. “Only by translating lessons learned from the current, deeply inequitable global response into viable, equitable action can the world change in time for the next crisis.”

The report identifies the new realities of the global vaccine research and development (R&D) and response ecosystem:

  • There is now widespread recognition that safe and effective vaccines provide unparalleled health, social, and economic benefits during a pandemic.
  • COVID-19 has made it clear that most nations will not share scarce supplies of early vaccines and related inputs in a crisis.
  • COVID-19 demonstrated that pandemics can be profitable for vaccine manufacturers.
  • Geopolitics constrained COVID-19 response and threaten future global health security.

In response, the researchers urgently recommend the following six actions:

  1. Develop and fund an inclusive strategy for the R&D of prototype vaccine candidates for future pandemics.
  2. Engage local government and donor financing and policy support to enable global vaccine manufacturing scale up.
  3. Create and support equitable financing, procurement, and allocation mechanisms to help end COVID-19 and prepare for the future.
  4. Strengthen cross-border trade, standardization, and supply chain transparency to expand vaccine manufacturing and access during a crisis.
  5. Build the systems needed to enable vaccine distribution, allocation, and uptake for the next pandemic.
  6. Plan for global coordination of postmarket research studies.

You can access the new report here.