Thought November 12, 2020 / 10:33 am UTC

Moderna Results in Days, then AstraZeneca

By Mike Gallagher

Bottom Line: Reports suggest Moderna interim phase 3 results within days followed by AstraZeneca in 2-3 weeks. AstraZeneca is more important for the world economy, as it requires only cold chain storage and EM countries have ordered the vaccine. 

Moderna orders are clustered in rich DM countries, led by the U.S with 100m and Europe in negotiations for 75m. As with the Pfizer vaccine, it requires ultra-cold chain storage, which centers rollout on DM countries. More importantly, UK government scientists suggest optimism on the Oxford University/AstraZeneca, which is low cost and can be stored in normal cold chain at 2-8c.

For the global economy this allow broader distribution, especially as EM countries have orders for this vaccine and up to 2.0bln can be produced in 2021. COVAX has ordered 300mln to start for 92 LDC countries. COVAX is also securing production capacity for a further 1bln doses, while major pharma companies have pledged to help global access to COVID vaccines. Distribution would take most of 2021, but the most vulnerable could be vaccinated in these countries.

Even so, major EM countries orders for vaccines are lower than DM countries. China, Russia and now India have local candidates for vaccines leaving Brazil and South Africa lagging. Additionally, healthcare systems in EM economies are not as organized as DM countries, which will likely cause logistical issues and delays in rollouts. 

We would still make the assessment that vaccine rollout will impact countries at three different speeds: COVID control countries quickest (e.g. Germany/South Korea); then countries with political challenges (e.g. U.S./Brazil); and select EM countries with logistic issues (e.g. India and Indonesia). This is already incorporated in our 2021 forecasts, which we will revise with the December 7 Outlook. 

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I, Mike Gallagher, the lead analyst certify that the views expressed herein are mine and are clear, fair and not misleading at the time of publication. They have not been influenced by any relationship, either a personal relationship of mine or a relationship of the firm, to any entity described or referred to herein nor to any client of Continuum Economics nor has any inducement been received in relation to those views. I further certify that in the preparation and publication of this report I have at all times followed all relevant Continuum Economics compliance protocols including those reasonably seeking to prevent the receipt or misuse of material non-public information.