Strategic Insights for New Vaccine Manufacturing Initiatives

GHIAA has developed and contributed to a number of publications and events on the topic of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The resources provided on this page are focused on mechanisms to increase local vaccine manufacturing capacity in lower- and middle- income countries (“LMICs”) with the long-term goal of reducing reliance on donations and goodwill from the Global North. Effective expansion of manufacturing capacity requires access to a number of critical manufacturing inputs which can be secured through a combination of funding and partnering agreements. The terms contained in these agreements should support the ultimate goal of achieving increased and accelerated access for underserved populations, both for COVID-19 vaccines and for future vaccine needs.

Journal Articles & White Papers

The COVID-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver: The Wrong Tool for the Right Goal

This article in Bill of Health explains the mechanics of patent waivers and argues that waivers alone are the wrong policy tool in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the authors agree with supporters of the proposed TRIPs waivers in their ultimate goal — that of scaling up the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, and distributing them according to equitable models  they doubt that it can be achieved simply through a waiver of intellectual property rights. The article explains the informational limitations of patents as well as other practical challenges, such as infrastructure constraints and access to raw materials, that would not be addressed by a patent waiver. 

Published by: Bill of Health, Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School 

First publication date: May 5, 2021

Authors: Ana Santos Rutschman, Julie Barnes-Weise (GHIAA Executive Director), 

Assessment of the Proposed Intellectual Property Waiver as a Mechanism to Address the COVID-19 Vaccine Scarcity Problem

Several solutions to address the scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines have been proposed, including that of a waiver of intellectual property rights. This commentary in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health examines the merits of a waiver in the context of the removal of proprietary barriers to the transfer or use of vaccine technology. It explains how the waiver would work if implemented, and shows that there is a “mismatch between the mechanics of the waiver and the intended increase in the global production and distribution of vaccines” as it “does not address the intertwined problems of infrastructural deficits and transfer of non-explicit knowledge”.

Published by: BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH)

First publication date: February 9, 2022

Authors: Julie Barnes-Weise (GHIAA Executive Director), Ana Santos Rutschman, Reid Adler

Strategic Insights for New Vaccine
Manufacturing Initiatives

The purpose of this paper is to offer a framework for assessing regional manufacturing capacity building opportunities to address the problem of insufficient and delayed vaccine supplies that many countries have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This discussion is intended to provide strategic insights and some examples for potential vaccine manufacturers and for the funders who seek to facilitate production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 and other vaccines.

Published by: GHIAA

First publication date: April 19, 2022

Authors: Julie Barnes-Weise (GHIAA Executive Director), Bridie Telford, Thomas Johnston, Reid Adler

Building COVID-19 Vaccine Production
Capacity in LMICs

Many LMICs did not have access to COVID-19 vaccines when they first needed them. LMIC leaders are planning to develop local manufacturing capacity to ensure timely, sustainable and predictable access to future vaccines. As discussions about an intellectual property waiver to support local vaccine manufacturing continue, this article provides an assessment of existing patents on COVID-19 vaccines and considers the other essential resources that are needed for vaccine manufacturing.

Published by: Think Global Health

First publication date: May 26, 2022

Authors: Reid Adler, Julie Barnes-Weise (GHIAA Executive Director), Ana Santos Rutschman, Bridie Telford


Critical Components for Successful Vaccine Manufacturing

Large-scale manufacturing is a critical and complex stage in the overall process of developing a vaccine, requiring many tangible and intangible inputs such as facilities, raw materials and know-how. This infographic provides an overview of the key inputs needed to support vaccine manufacturing in LMICs.

Key Partnerships and Agreements for Vaccine Development & Manufacturing

Successful development and manufacturing of vaccines requires partnerships between many different organizations, from funding agreements to technology licenses and raw material supplies. This infographic provides an overview of the different agreements that contribute to the creation of vaccines.

Presentations & Panel Discussions

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Preparing for Future Pandemics

The global intellectual property framework played an important role in incentivizing the development of COVID-19 vaccines. This panel discussion including GHIAA Executive Director Julie Barnes-Weise explores the significance of intellectual property rights alongside other assets that are needed for vaccine manufacturing.

WHO, WIPO, WTO Workshop on Innovation in, and Access to, COVID-19 Technologies

This workshop on information resources for the pandemic response includes a presentation of the GHIAA MAPGuide as a tool that provides analysis of contracts related to the manufacturing and supply of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Columbia University Vaccine Symposium: COVID-19 Vaccines - Unfinished Business

GHIAA Executive Director Julie Barnes-Weise joined a panel discussion addressing questions around vaccine equity, vaccine nationalism, essential factors for expanding manufacturing capabilities, and the roles of government, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies in ensuring access to vaccines.