COVID-19 vaccine production, to January 31st 2022

Vaccine production slowed down sharply in both the biggest producing regions, with Chinese output merely 45 million doses against 665.8 million in December, and the European Union dropping from 432.9 million doses to 235 million. India nonetheless showed a healthy increase for both the AstraZeneca vaccine (145.9 million) and that from Bharat (50 million). The United States, the third biggest production location, held steady at 148 million doses versus 144.8 million last month. Total global output of 729.6 million doses was less than half the 1.59 billion made in December, largely thanks to that Chinese shutdown. The Chinese firm Walvax has an mRNA vaccine now in a third phase clinical trial, which could if successful be much needed given concerns about the efficacy of the dominant Sinovac and Sinopharm inactivated virus jabs.

Pfizer/BoNTech took the lead in January with by some distance the largest monthly output, which has also propelled it ahead of AstraZeneca and the two Chinese giants in terms of total output to date. Nonetheless, AstraZeneca is the biggest supplier to the developing world, bar China, and is now playing the central role in COVAX's distribution of vaccines to African and other poorer countries.

Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

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