Price descent and vaccines.
During the third wave the orders kept on coming. The huge stock of PPE’s reached the consumers, but the demand has become smaller. High stock levels led to prices falling when said stock needed to be sold-out. Oftentimes they would be sold at cost, or even lower than the order price. Partly to blame for the lower PPE demand were also the vaccines. However, new challenges arose.
When the new stage of the pandemic started, a lot of the supply chains were directed at the supply and distribution of vaccines, which led to the challenge of supplying key ingredients for vaccines, disposable bioreactor bags, filtration pumps, filters were sometimes missing or insufficient. There was also a lack of qualified workers, financial capital and even partner companies whose capabilities were not used at full capacity to rapidly expand production processe. Lack of raw materials and a more rigorous quality assurance of each batch was the additional factor in a slower process of vaccine production and supply.
Limited supply could only partially reduce the number of potential victims of Covid-19, and created a necessity to make decisions on which part of the population will get their vaccines first. Many Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers have sought to develop more than one supply chain, and wanting to ensure supply to other countries, created several supply chains. For instance, „Pfizer/BioNTech“ and „Moderna“ developed separate, mini-supply chains that could reach main ones.
„Pfizer“ and „BioNTech“ began developing their supply chains much sooner, while „Moderna“ applied completely different measures. They had to start from scratch. Following the success of its competitors, the company began to expand. The start was not successful, there was a shortage of raw materials and, more importantly, no workers. „Moderna“ partner „Lonza“, in order to increase productivity, called on the Swiss government to simplify the issuance of visas. „AstraZeneca“ vaccine supply chains have been geared towards the UK. Naturally, the aspirations of these manufacturers were global.
When the success of vaccines was confirmed, demand increased significantly. Companies wanting to increase capacity, expanded every element of its supply chains. Eventually, orders began to be shipped to other countries as well.