The Covid-19 Vaccine Production Club: Will Value Chains Temper Nationalism?

40 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2021

See all articles by Simon J. Evenett

Simon J. Evenett

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Nadia Rocha

The WorldBank Group

Michele Ruta

Economic Research Division, WTO; Columbia Business School - Economics Department; International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: March 2021

Abstract

In the first two months of 2021, the production of COVID-19 vaccines has suffered setbacks delaying the implementation of national inoculation strategies. These delays have revealed the concentration of vaccine manufacture in a small club of producer nations, which in turn has implications for the degree to which cross-border value chains can deter more aggressive forms of Vaccine Nationalism, such as export curbs. This paper documents the existence of this club, taking account of not just the production of final vaccines but also the ingredients of and items needed to manufacture and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. During 2017-19, vaccine producing nations sourced 88% of their key vaccine ingredients from other vaccine producing trading partners. Combined with the growing number of mutations of COVID-19 and the realization that this coronavirus is likely to become a permanent endemic global health threat, this finding calls for a rethink of the policy calculus towards ramping up the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, its ingredients, and the various items needed to deliver them. The more approved vaccines that are safely produced, the smaller will be the temptation to succumb to zero-sum Vaccine Nationalism.

Keywords: COVID-19, vaccines, value chains, Vaccine Nationalism, trade policy, export restrictions, mRNA, lipids, nitrile gloves, syringes, vials

Suggested Citation

Evenett, Simon J. and Hoekman, Bernard and Rocha, Nadia and Ruta, Michele, The Covid-19 Vaccine Production Club: Will Value Chains Temper Nationalism? (March 2021). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSC 2021/36, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3800058 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3800058

Simon J. Evenett (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Nadia Rocha

The WorldBank Group ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Michele Ruta

Economic Research Division, WTO ( email )

Rue de Lausanne 154
CH-1211 Geneva
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.iue.it/Personal/Fellows/MicheleRuta/Welcome.htm

Columbia Business School - Economics Department ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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