Friday, March 12, 2021

This is getting dumb

This is Joseph

Matt Yglesias commenting on the NYT:

Also noted by Alex Tabbarok

AZ has on the order of 50 million doses nearly ready to go and can produce in the US around 25 million doses a month so over a year that production is worth over $100 billion to the world economy, far higher than the modest cost of production! Instead of idling this capacity we should expand it even further as part of a plan to vaccinate the world.

 I think we need to have a very careful reality check. What could possibly be the reason for not allowing the export of the vaccine? People keep pointing out that Astra-Zeneca has not done the paperwork for an emergency use authorization, but what is the point of letting it sit unused when the company would like to export it. 

If it works, why would the United States not want to use it? If it is inferior to current vaccines why should we deny it to countries dealing with large outbreaks? I understand not immediately authorizing it because the US has vaccines with good data already approved but then it should be exportable. I also understand wanting to use it domestically to speed up vaccination rates but then there should be hard questions asked about why the company is not applying to the FDA. 

But the current course of action seems to make no actual sense. What am I missing? What is the value in letting the doses expire due to an export ban? 

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