Given ongoing conversations about #COVID19 #vaccine distribution, and the political, economic and manufacturing inefficiencies currently holding us back...

I spent some time this evening doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations trying to answer the question:

How much would it cost to vaccinate everyone globally?

Importantly, publicly known price/dose varies by vaccine. I calculated for 6 vaccines (approved or candidates), as follows:

Moderna: $37/dose x 2 doses

Sinovac (China): $30/dose x 2 doses

With a 2019 estimate of 7.67013 B globally, let's assume (for illustrative purposes only) every person on Earth gets the same vaccine, and then repeat this calculation for each of the 6 vaccines above.

How much would it cost, in total, to vaccinate the global population?

Moderna: $568 B

Sinovac: $460 B

Pfizer/Biontech: $307 B

Gamaleya: $153 B

JNJ: $77 B

Oxford/Astra Zenaca: $61 B

Of course, these only estimate the global vaccine cost given publicly available price/dose...

...and accordingly, does not included potential additional costs, like transport, supply chain, or other factors required to make each vaccine globally accessible.

Even with that assumption/limitation, I think these total costs are interesting anyway... here's why:

Let's compare these total costs, for the sake of perspective, to the top 5 wealthiest individuals on the planet, who possess net worths of the following:

@elonmusk: $197 B

Jeff Bezos: $182 B

@BillGates: $132 B

Bernard Arnault: $109 B

Mark Zuckerberg: $95.6 B

To put this into perspective:

This means all 5 of them could fully fund global coverage from both JNJ and Oxford/Astra Zenaca vaccines...

...and do so with wealth to spare. For example, @elonmusk would retain $136 B net worth even after paying for every person on Earth to get the Oxford/Astra Zenaca vaccine.

Even if we took the most expensive vaccine (Moderna)...

...the sum of net worths from the top 4 would be enough to vaccinate every person on Earth.

I'm not entirely sure of the point I'd like to make with this quick math. But I can't help but feel like it illustrates important contradictions for us to sit with.

E.g. the contradiction that many countries will go without vaccine access for months to yrs, despite these pools of private wealth that could make that not the case.

I'm neither an economist nor doctor, so would be eager to hear what takeaways others have from this.

You can follow @TerenceM_Hughes.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled:

By continuing to use the site, you are consenting to the use of cookies as explained in our Cookie Policy to improve your experience.