Should investors be worried about the coronavirus vaccine supply?
So far, more than 26 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, about 14 million are the Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) vaccine and 11 million are the Moderna (NASDAQ: mRNA) vaccine. But the supply has always been low, given the demand. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on January 22, 2021, Corinne Cardina, Head of Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau, and Adria Cimino, Fool.com Contributor, discuss the current situation facing healthcare providers and those who seek to get vaccinated.
Corinne Cardine: Another of the biggest risks with these newer variants is the potential for increased transmission. Of course, in the United States, we vaccinate. I think everyone expects the vaccination to start sooner. With the administration of Joe Biden, he said he was aiming for 100 million vaccinations in the first 100 days. They actually said it was a doubling of what we had been doing before since the vaccines were allowed. They are trying to overtake him. We hope that can happen, but if the new cases arise even faster than before, we are fighting an uncontrollable catastrophe with vaccination. The bad news I have to share is that there have been a lot of headlines about the vaccine dose supply. Lots of people were able to sign up for dates. I’m sure you know how frustrating it is to have an appointment and they see their appointments canceled because their provider is out of doses. There is a big supply problem. President Biden has said he plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to fight the pandemic. But as far as I know so far, this will boost PPE manufacturing [personal protective equipment] and the supplies needed to administer the vaccines as well as the tests, but not necessarily the doses themselves. My question relates to doses and supply. Should we be worried that the vaccine doses are not following the planned vaccination schedule and what impact could this have on some of these vaccine manufacturers?
Adria Cimino: Yes, I think we should continue to worry because until we see the first results of President Biden’s plan, this will remain a worrying issue. It is true that hospitals and vaccination centers complain that they do not have enough doses. It was a yo-yo. For example, they’ve been given a number of doses this week – with a large number – so they’re planning ahead thinking, “Next week, the same will happen. In fact, next week we will have virtually no more doses and we will then have to cancel appointments. It really has been a problem. I expect this to probably continue for a bit until things fall into place and we see exactly how the new plan is going to work. Cities and states have said they don’t really know what to expect. When there is no such communication, it can really be a problem. They also mentioned the lack of funding, the lack of communication, so these are two very important issues that we will want to see exactly what happens once the President puts the plan in place. We have, I don’t know, several weeks to see what exactly is going on.
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