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Covid vaccine makers target bottlenecks to speed up production

A new initiative aims to overcome bottlenecks that have hampered the production and global rollout of Covid-19 shots, linking manufacturers with suppliers of vital materials.

Photo: JACK GUEZ/AFP / AFP

A new platform, led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, will serve as a marketplace that matches up buyers and sellers of filters, lipids, vials, bioreactor bags and other key supplies used to make vaccines. The goal is to accelerate production of tens of millions of doses that can flow to Covax, the global distribution program that has fallen short of its initial targets.

Manufacturers see tackling component shortages as a way to address the inequitable access to vaccines that has left lower-income countries behind in the race to immunize. They have focused on eliminating bottlenecks and trade barriers, arguing against proposals to waive patent protection for shots. With an estimated 11 billion doses needed to escape the pandemic, some producers are struggling to hit full capacity.

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