Making a vaccine is complex – vaccinating people shouldn’t be

The decision last week by some European governments, including in Dublin, to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was an unnecessary blow to the already slow vaccination rollouts

The procurement and distribution of the vaccines are also beset by national rivalries, one-upmanship, panic and excessive risk aversion

Making a vaccine is one of the most intricate tasks in the global pharmaceutical industry. Scientists developed vaccines to combat Covid-19 with exemplary speed. But that was just the beginning. A vaccine contains many ingredients made in many different places. When a vial of the vaccine is finally ready for use, it has to be distributed to national governments and administered to the population.

The supply chains that make all this possible without interruption or ...