Accelerating health technologies (AHT)
health technologY for covid-19
We are a group of economists and statisticians working on the problem of how to accelerate widespread access to vaccines and other health products to address COVID-19.
Michael Kremer is interviewed by Tim Harford for the BBC, and discusses incentives for vaccine development and production with Anna Mouser of the Wellcome Trust and Patrick Tippo of Biovac in South Africa.
Vaccinating the world’s population quickly in a pandemic has enormous health and economic benefits. We analyze the problem faced by governments in determining the scale and structure of procurement for vaccines. We analyze alternative approaches to procurement. We find that if the goal is to accelerate the vaccine delivery timetable, buyers should directly fund manufacturing capacity and shoulder most of the risk of failure, while maintaining some direct incentives for speed. We analyzed the optimal portfolio of vaccine investments for countries with different characteristics as well as the implications for international cooperation. Our analysis, considered in light of the experience of 2020, suggests lessons for future pandemics.
We are grateful to many individuals and organizations who have given their time and expertise to inform our work. In particular, we thank Keystone Strategy, Whit Athey, Ph.D. (independent consultant, formerly Food and Drug Administration), Lisa Danzig, M.D. (independent consultant, formerly in senior leadership positions within the vaccines and diagnostics industry), and Mary Wu (independent consultant, formerly in leadership positions in vaccines and diagnostics industry).