Max Roser Profile picture
13 Jan, 11 tweets, 4 min read
This study estimates the cost to produce the missing vaccines to protect *the entire world* from COVID.…

Facilities to produce 16 billion doses of a Moderna type vaccines would only cost around $4 billion, ~$2 a jab.

Easily the best deal of the decade.
If this is even remotely true it is unbelievably exciting news. 10- or 100-times that price would be cheap.

This important article outlines a plan for how to pull it off (it's based on the paper above).…

Here is a perspective on the $4 billion price tag. Image
For the total cost of the entire production operation of this vaccine this is the relevant table – and the Moderna type vaccine is the one on the left.

CapEx = total capital investment cost
OpEx = annual operating cost Image
The operating costs of it depend very much on the amount of RNA per vaccine dose according to the study.

It varies from millions to billions per year. Image
– The NYT authors are interested in 16 billion doses; 2 for everyone in the world.

– The original study is interested in the cost of producing 8 billion vaccines – because they estimating that this is equal to missing vaccine doses. We also have other vaccines. Image
For this reason the NYT proposal – by the Pepvar authors – is putting a price of $4 billion on building the capacity.
That's the capacity needed for the entire world (as I said in the first tweet).

If the estimate of 8 billion missing vaccines is correct then it is even cheaper!
Another key question is how long this will all take, here is the authors view on that. Image
And the same is true is for the total costs, it depends on the vaccine.

The numbers quoted above – $4 billion for the production capacity and $2 for the vaccine (=$36 billion) – are the highest estimates in the paper and would mean enough doses for the entire world.
If we go with 8 billion doses (2 doses for 4 billion -- as the rest get other available vacciness) it drops to half, $18 billion for capacity and production costs.

And if it is possible to use one of the other 4 vaccines it would get cheaper.
This is just one paper.
All these estimates are very uncertain.
I have no background on this.

But it seems like one of the most important questions right now how to produce enough vaccines for everyone who wants to be protected from COVID.
It would be great if someone would explain this study well and bring together what experts think about the costs and feasability of increasing mRNA vaccine production fast.

Here is another thread on this same study:

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More from @MaxCRoser

14 Jan
Let’s assume that the cost estimates of that study are much too optimistic and the true cost of producing the vaccine will be $200 billion in the end – it would still be less than the economic losses in just *month* last year.
That’s just the loss in production (4.5% decline of global GDP according to the IMF:…).

The full ‘cost’ of the pandemic is of course much larger than that – the pandemic’s impact on our daily lives, people being sick, people dying.
The point is:
estimate of the pandemic’s cost that is much too low >> estimate of the cost to produce vaccines that is much higher than what this study estimates
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
It was wrong to believe that 'saving the economy' was an alternative to 'saving people's lives’.

If anything it is the other way around and the two goals go together so that countries that kept the health impact of the pandemic lower suffered smaller economic consequences.
This isn’t a new insight, it’s just more up to date data.
It was obvious early on in the pandemic and has been said by many economists for months.

Here is my colleague @JoeHasell’s post from last summer on the same point:…
Or here is me last July saying the same.

It was my expectation then, now we have the data.

Read 4 tweets
1 Jan
Israel hat 11.5% der Bevölkerung geimpft
Deutschland 0.2%

Es liegt nicht daran, dass kein Impfstoff vorhanden ist.

Laut @jensspahn haben wir 1,3 Millionen Dosen erhalten.
Aber laut RKI haben wir nur 165,575 verimpft.

Währenddessen sterben hunderte und wir sitzen im Lockdown.
@jensspahn Özlem Türeci, Uğur Şahin und ihre Kollegen sagten, dass sie im vergangenen Jahr über Monate Nächte durchgearbeitet haben.

Angela Merkel war zu Recht »mächtig stolz« auf deren Leistung und jetzt scheitern wir daran den Impfstoff zu verwenden.…
@jensspahn Für diejenigen die sagen, dass ein kleines Land wie Israel (8,9 Millionen) nicht mit Deutschland vergleichbar ist:
Baden–Württemberg hat eine Bevölkerung von 11 Millionen.

Während Baden–Württemberg 17,000 Menschen geimpft hat, hat Israel 1,000,000 geimpft.
Read 4 tweets
31 Dec 20
Letzte Woche erklärte @jensspahn dass in diesem Jahr 1,3 Millionen Impfdosen ausgeliefert werden.

Bisher sind laut RKI lediglich 131,626 Menschen in Deutschland geimpft worden.

Allein die Maßnahmen im März kosteten 750 Milliarden und jetzt bekommen wir es nicht hin zu impfen?
@jensspahn Israel impft mehr Menschen am Tag als Deutschland bisher geimpft hat.

Hier sind unsere Daten:…
@jensspahn Wir sind weiter im Lockdown und jeden Tag sterben Menschen während hunderttausende Impfdosen bereitstehen.
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 20
What is going on with the vaccination campaigns?

Pfizer/Biontech said that they’d provide 50 million doses worldwide within 2020.
There are other vaccines too.

Now, one day before the end of 2020, we find in our global dataset that only 5.4 million people received a vaccine.
• More than 10,000 people die every day.
• Doctors and nurses work beyond their capacity.
• It costs us trillions, businesses are gone, millions unemployed.

Then scientists made the impossible possible and made a vaccine in 12 months.

We should really try to do this fast.
It isn’t impossible to do this rapidly.

Israel’s population receives its protection rapidly.

7.4% of Israel’s population has received the first dose.

In the US it is 0.8%
In Germany 0.09%
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 20
Out of a group of 500 people over the age of 80 one dies within a week.

→ This means it will happen often that a person who was just vaccinated dies within a week.
Not due to the vaccine, but due to the high death rate of the people who are vaccinated first.

data in next tweet
The annual death rate for those over 80 is 10.75% in England & Wales

This means the chance of dying in any week is 0.206%.

[= 10.75% per year / 52 weeks]

So that out of a group of 485 people over 80 we have to expect one person to die within a week.
We will carefully monitor whether the various new vaccines have serious side effects.

But it's important to keep the high death rate of elderly people in mind as some might be tempted to conclude that a death on the next day was due to the vaccine even when it was not.
Read 4 tweets

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