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Rising Epidemic Potential with the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic to Boost the Growth of the Vaccines Market

   February 26, 2021

Vaccines are an important part of public health as they prevent the spread of various diseases such as measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, tuberculosis, and cancer. Since the invention of the first vaccine for smallpox, vaccines have continued to be the most cost-effective way to prevent diseases. Therefore, the demand for vaccines is on the rise. Over the last decade, vaccine development has received huge support from the pharmaceutical industry as well as governments due to successful vaccination programs that helped eradicate infectious diseases such as chickenpox and polio globally, saving healthcare expenditure worth billions of dollars. Vaccines are one of the most powerful and cost-effective health interventions available. Yet many preventable diseases still cost millions of lives and billions of dollars every year.

The world today is becoming increasingly interconnected, where cross-border travel allows diseases to spread quicker. Today, many vaccine manufacturers are focused on developing vaccines to prevent diseases of epidemic potential and subsequently prioritizing the manufacture of such vaccines globally, increasing market potential. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) are among the major causes of death worldwide. In 2019, 12 million people suffered from TB, and 1.5 million died from the disease, with over 85% of TB deaths recorded in low- and middle-income countries. Also, TB is the leading killer of HIV-positive patients, and in 2018, an estimated 862,000 new cases of TB were reported in people who were HIV-positive, 72% of whom were living in Africa.

Similarly, according to Avert (UK-based charity), in 2019, 38.4 million people were living with HIV, and the majority of people with HIV infection lived in the middle- and low-income countries, out of which 68% lived in sub-Saharan Africa. Among these, 20.6 million lived in East and Southern Africa, which accounted for 53.0% of new HIV infections globally. Also, the coronavirus pandemic, since its emergence in November 2019, has resulted in an increasing number of people being diagnosed with the same. COVID-19 has led to a rise in mortality rates globally. For instance, as per the WHO, globally, as of 14th December 2020, there were 72.6 million confirmed cases and 1 million deaths. Overall, 31% of the cases, 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of ICU admissions, and 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 were among adults aged 65 years and over, with the highest percentage of severe outcomes among persons aged 85 years and over. Due to the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, the global population eagerly anticipates a vaccine capable of combating the virus.

Traditionally, vaccine development requires several years to complete the necessary testing, garner approvals, and execute the marketing strategies required to successfully launch an adequate product. However, as the COVID-19 contagion has spread worldwide, governments and medical regulators are focused on speeding up the vaccine development process. To encourage rapid progress, the FDA granted the ‘fast track’ status to several promising products. On 13th July 2020, the FDA announced that Pfizer and Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) earned the fast-track designation for two COVID-19 vaccines, and as of December 2020, Britain's medicines regulator, the MHRA, had approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for mass vaccination. Further, beginning in late-March 2020, Operation Warp Speed was launched by the U.S. government. Warp Speed was commissioned to produce and deliver 300 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is a collaboration of several U.S. federal government departments, including Health and Human Services and its subagencies, Agriculture, Energy, and Veterans Affairs, with the private sector. In addition to Warp Speed, global efforts to build a coronavirus countermeasure spanned every continent, with China, Russia, India, Australia, Germany, and the U.K. participating in the same. According to the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR), governments, multilateral organizations, and private companies invested billions of dollars in developing an effective vaccine by 2021. All the above collaborative efforts are expected to boost the production of coronavirus vaccines in the upcoming years

Thus, with the increasing prevalence of infectious diseases, research for designing vaccines is on the rise with a simultaneous increase in the number of vaccines for the treatment of infectious diseases, which is expected to drive the market size to $108.02 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 12.5% according to Meticulous Research®.

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