The Compressed Upstream Supply Chain of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines



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My research project involves an analysis of the compressed upstream supply chain of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. This will shed light on how these respective vaccine programs were so successful in developing quality vaccines in an accelertared timeframe at a global scale. This is done through establishing a timeline that chronicles the significant events starting from the ideation of the mRNA vaccines to the eventual FDA Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccines. Additionally, documentation of all sources of funding is present to highlight the players involved in bringing the vaccines to fruition in the manner they were. A detailed list of organizations and institutions who financed the development of the vaccines is essential to understanding the nature of how they came to market. This will shed light on the sheer amount of manpower goes in to designing a vaccine in general, let alone in the same year as a virus was discovered. Ultimately, the contribution of the project is the mapping out of the upstream supply chain of the two mRNA vaccines. This entails the identification of the players involved in vaccine development, a description of the sources of funding, and an analysis of the general methodology that led to the authorization of the vaccines. The “bench to bedside� upstream supply chain includes the activities involved in drug discovery, testing via clinical trials, and manufacturing a large number of doses in anticipation of emergency-use authorization, which captures the unprecedented nature of the vaccine development process.