COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing

*Last updated on June 17, 2021

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,

  • Steps of production process (e.g. partial to full production),

  • Eligible markets,

  • Technology transfer,

  • Degree of developer control (e.g. over pricing, supply allocation, ownership), and/or

  • Association with vaccine purchase agreements

 

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To provide some insight into the information that is available, we have begun tracking arrangements between Covid-19 vaccine developers and manufacturers. Our dataset contains 117 arrangements between 16 vaccine developers and 99 manufacturers based in 36 countries. 

The number of arrangements for each vaccine developer ranges from 1 (Center for Genetic Engineering, ImmunityBio and Vaxart) to 26 (Gamaleya), with only four developers having made 10 or more publicly-reported arrangements (AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, and Gamaleya).

A selection of graphics representing the data are presented below; the full dataset is available for download here, along with its associated README file.

Figure 1. Locations of Manufacturers of COVID-19 Vaccines

Figure 2. Map of AstraZeneca Manufacturing Arrangements

Figure 3. Map of Gamaleya Manufacturing Arrangements

What do we know about the manufacturers that have been selected? 

Vaccine developers based in high-income countries have primarily selected manufacturing partners also based in high income countries (80%, 60/75) (see Figure 4). In contrast, vaccine developers from India (Bharat Biotech), China (Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSino), Russia (Gamaleya) and Cuba (Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology) have primarily selected manufacturing partners based in middle income countries (86%, 36/42; 33% lower-middle, 52% upper middle). There are no arrangements in our dataset with manufacturers based in low-income countries.

Figure 4. Relationships between COVID-19 Vaccine Developers & Manufacturers, by country income groups

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

This network diagram shows all publicly-reported manufacturing arrangements. The square nodes represent the vaccine developer; the circular spokes represent each manufacturer. Sources are pharmaceutical company press releases and media reports. 

Among the manufacturers, most are privately held (40) or publicly traded (44) for-profit companies, but some of the manufacturers are government agencies (4), state-owned enterprises (6), or public-private partnerships (1) (the rest are unclear) (see Figure 5). 

 

Manufacturing arrangements have been identified with manufacturers based in 36 countries (17 high-income, 15 upper middle-income, and 4 lower middle-income). It is important to note that the location used here is the primary location of the manufacturer – which is not always the same location as where the relevant production facilities are based.

There are also regional disparities in these arrangements – a little under one third of all recorded arrangements (35/117) are with manufacturers based in Europe (including the UK), and only five are recorded for all of Africa (two in South Africa and three in Egypt) (see Figure 6). 

Figure 5. COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturers:
Manufacturer Types and Locations

Figure 6. Map of Distribution of Manufacturing Arrangements

What do these arrangements entail?

As noted, few details are available on the precise nature of many of the manufacturing arrangements, but they range from arrangements covering purely bulk substance production or fill-and-finish to full process manufacturing. Many of these arrangements appear to be solely for manufacturing, but a small proportion (13.7%, 16/117) are also reported to include licensing and distribution rights.

 

Many of the arrangements (39%, 46/117) lack information on how many doses are projected to result. Of those that do include projections, they range widely from 2 million total doses to 1 billion total doses, and from 40 million doses/year to 1 billion doses/year.

Figure 7. Table of Projected COVID-19 Manufacturing Totals 

In 40% (47/117) of the arrangements, the resultant vaccines will primarily or exclusively be sold in the country where the manufacturer is based. This arrangement appears to be more common in UMICs, where 80% (25/31) of production is intended to primarily or exclusively be sold in the country where the manufacturer is based. In contrast, 45% (9/20) of arrangements in lower MICs, and 20% (13/66) of arrangements in HICs specify that sales will be primarily or exclusively in the country where the manufacturer is based. However, the primary market is not specified for roughly one-third (40/117) of the arrangements, making it difficult to drawn firm conclusions about intended markets.

Some manufacturing arrangements are linked to government purchase agreements (often, but not always, the government of the country where the manufacturer is primarily based). This was the case for approximately 35% (11/31) of manufacturing arrangements in upper MICS, 10% (2/20) in lower MICs, and 5% (3/66) in HICs.

Figure 8. Intended Markets for Vaccines Produced in Manufacturing Arrangements

PieChart_Manufacturing Graphics_17 June.png

This pie chart shows the number of  manufacturing arrangements where the primary market is the same as the primary location of the manufacturer; where it is different; and where it is unspecified. Sources are pharmaceutical company and manufacturer press releases and media reports.  

Governments may also facilitate or sponsor these arrangements. For example, the US has provided funding to Merck to adapt its facilities and make them available for the production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Similarly, Japan has provided funding for the technology transfer and infrastructure investments necessary to enable Takeda to produce the Novavax vaccine.  Roughly 43% of the arrangements (22/51) with manufacturers based in MICs, and roughly 25.8% (17/66) in HICs (including the European Union) appear to include some form of government sponsorship.

Figure 9. Number of COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Arrangements Over Time, by Vaccine Developer

Other resources

For other useful sources of data and analysis on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing arrangements, see the Duke Global Health Innovation Center and UNICEF.

Please see more of our original analysis on COVID-19 vaccine R&D investments and COVID-19 vaccine accessFor a compilation of external resources on COVID-19 research and development, intellectual property and access, and pricing, procurement, distribution and manufacturing, see our COVID-19 Data Sources page.

Notes About the Data

Sources and methodology

Data are updated every one to two weeks. Information on agreements is aggregated from publicly available sources, including news reports (links available in dataset). 

 

Income and population calculations are primarily based on World Bank data, and regional groups are based on World Bank definitions. Taiwanese income and population calculations are based on Taiwanese government data.  

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Estimates of projected manufacturing totals are used when precise figures not available. When currency is not reported in USD, currency is converted using currency conversion rate on the announcement date.

Data limitations

This dataset relies on companies, governments, and multilateral organizations making their agreements publicly available. There are substantial gaps in the data, including that not all agreements are being reported in a timely fashion, and reported agreements may lack one or more relevant data points, such as anticipated doses or intended market.

While efforts are made to ensure data accuracy and completeness, given the lack of detailed information available publicly and the fast-moving nature these agreements, the data may contain inaccuracies, be incomplete, or be out of date. 

Download Dataset

 

The dataset and graphics are updated every one to two weeks. Given that this dataset is reliant on information reported in the public domain, it may contain inaccuracies, be incomplete, or quickly become out of date. 

 

Please contact us with comments and suggestions at globalhealthresearch@graduateinstitute.ch.

 

Suggested citation: Global Health Centre. (2021). COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Agreements. Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Retrieved from: www.knowledgeportalia.org/covid19-vaccine-manufacturing

Anna Bezruki is lead researcher for this initiative, responsible for data collection, curation, visualizations and analysis. Surabhi Agarwal is 

contributing to data collection. Adriàn Alonso Ruiz is contributing to data collection and analysis. Marcela Vieira is contributing to data collection. Suerie Moon is supervising the research and analysis.

 

For media inquiries please contact Nora Sada, Communications Officer for the Global Health Centre at nora.sada@graduateinstitute.ch.

 

This work is available open access and distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. Third party material are not included. 

 
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