After the WHO revised its vaccine guidance following a SAGE meeting, GlobalData issued a statement warning about the effects of this update on the “future of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts”. GlobalData indicates that this is “becoming highly uncertain”. With a decrease in global demand expected over coming years, GlobalData suggests that “revenue streams may fade quickly” for vaccine developers.  

Updates bring uncertainty 

As we explored in our post on the SAGE updates, the group has encouraged an approach that considers context and “cost-effectiveness” for specific groups. National health agencies have quickly moved to adopt this approach. However, the recommendations are not binding, which introduces a greater level of uncertainty as countries react. A number of countries, such as the UK, have already restricted boosters to those in groups of highest need.  

The wider global context 

Nancy Jaser, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, commented that “significant drops in global demand and revenue” for the COVID-19 vaccines are expected over the next few years. As the “threat of the pandemic winds down” and guidance for vaccinations “loosens”, Jaser anticipates the revenue streams for vaccine developers will “quickly” disappear.  

“The massive outbreaks caused by the Omicron variant led to the currently high levels of immunity observed in all age groups through both vaccination efforts and infections across the globe.” 

In combination with the recent guidance, which calls for “decreased use of boosters”, as well as the US Senate’s early conclusion of the national emergency declaration, Jaser expects to see a swift change for COVID-19 vaccine developers.  

A delicate market 

The sensitivity of the COVID-19 vaccine market became clear in September 2022 when US President Joe Biden declared that the “pandemic is over”. Consequently, three of the key vaccine developers experienced a drop in their stocks.  

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