Looking beyond the vaccine

While everyone is gambling on who will create the new vaccine, I’ve read some interesting articles about looking beyond and on how it will be distributed, stored and administered. The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority estimated that to vaccinate the U.S they would need between 650 million and 850 million needles and syringes. Many countries have been buying reserves for a while, but the American Strategic National Stockpile held just 15 million until it started placing orders on the 1st of May.

Once there is a vaccine, it’s estimated that 2 to 4 billion vaccines will be used in the first quarter. But not any vial will do. Certain chemicals react with traditional soda-lime glass. So borosilicate glass is used, created by a German chemist named Otto Schott. It turns out that by adding boron to glass makes it more resistant to temperature changes but also chemical change too.

It’s not bad business either, 11 billion vials are produced and sold by Schott. Competitor Corning (GLW) have also raised $204 millions to expand their glass vials production line. In other areas, companies like ApiJect Systems Corp have been able to raised $138 million to manufacture prefillable plastic syringes to accompany the vials. The ancillary supply problem has been growing and AstraZeneca as well as Johnson & Johnson have already raised concerns.

What’s certain here is that we’re still only at the very beginning of the whole ordeal. With supply chains being set up and manufacturing going into overdrive, there’s a lot of opportunity for the markets around the logistics and the supply and demand for ancillary products,


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