‘The price of vaccines’, by Jorge Fauró

A vial with the Covid-19 vaccine.

A vial with the Covid-19 vaccine.
Europa Press

The economy on a large scale is subject to Swing, arbitration and decision of the markets or whatever you want to call it. Regardless of the real value, things have come to be priced, so that nothing is worth what they are really worth, but what it costs and what the buyer is willing to pay. It happens with the real estate market as with works of art. The greater the scarcity, the higher the price; the more the need grows, the more competition increases, and if a high need converges with a high demand for a scarce product, the greater the difficulty for consumers to access it. The price also goes up. When this occurs in a free competition scenario, the usual thing is that the players who take part in the game try to position their product better than their rivals, and if, even so, there are difficulties to impose themselves on the opposite, the usual thing is to discredit the opponent or to agree on market prices , the latter strategy that often runs up against legislation.

The pandemic covid has become a business (major or minor) for many companies. Some for reconversion. Who used to manufacture textile derivatives, now takes care of making masks; those who until a year ago were dedicated to cosmetics have opened the market with hydroalcoholic gel. And so many sectors. This revitalization is good for the economy and for the job. But when there are no reasons for reconversion, economic revitalization or job creation in the face of such a sensitive problem, the time comes for the big questions: What if, after the disturbing controversy of the vaccines hide market reasons? It seems that one thing is to turn production towards the manufacture of masks at a reasonable price and quite another to paralyze a global vaccination strategy preceded by the doubts about the harmful effects of this or that vaccine. So, where do suspicions about a drug arise to the point that the immunization of thousands of people is stopped cold?

At this stage of the pandemic, no one is aware that in addition to an immune component, behind the vaccination There are economic factors that greatly polarize the different speeds at which the fight against covid around the world. Israel hoards vaccines and protects a remarkable percentage of its populationWhile in much of Africa, the vaccine is another symbol of so-called Western well-being. Israel can hoard vaccines and pay more for them because it has the resources to do so. Meanwhile, Africa has no choice but to see him for TV. Question of money.

Would there be a trade war What will motivate the suspicions and subsequent paralysis of some brands? Is there an underground battle between the laboratories to discredit the competitors? Four are the big names in the immunological market that have the approval of the international health authorities. There are also four prices per dose that the western community is paying, with the European Union and the United States at the fore. And they are these: Pfizer (12 euros per dose), Moderna (14.8 euros), Johnson and Johnson (6.99 euros) and AstraZeneca (1.78 euros). Despite AstraZeneca is getting the worst of it – and as a consequence, global citizenship – experts agree that there are many more possibilities of being infected by coronavirus than to suffer a thrombosis after the vaccine. In this case, the health authorities have focused on the, coincidentally, most accessible to the economic possibilities of buyers. AstraZeneca is the cheapest and suspicion is inevitable, and although the obligation of states is to adopt protective measures with all guarantees, it is difficult not to believe that in a pandemic it will also we are under the control of the economy, more at the whim of the markets than in order to the health needs of the population, involved again as innocent victims in the middle of the debate about saving the economy (in this case, of a few) or saving as many lives as possible. Business over containment. Such is the crossing of information, so different, so opposing and so changing, that it is very likely that it will take us a while to know why it seems that given the obvious urgency in vaccination we encounter so many obstacles, so little haste and too much confusion every day. The last question is therefore unavoidable: Is there someone in charge of all this?



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