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Sustainable trade

Using trade to fight COVID-19: Manufacturing and distributing vaccines

Published 09 March 2021 | 1 minute read

This paper discusses trade and trade policy considerations underpinning access to the final and intermediate goods needed to effectively produce, deliver and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The paper focuses on the international aspects of the vaccine supply chain, discussing the sourcing, production, distribution and need to expedite international border crossing and transportation (including in the context of the cold supply chain). The most recently available trade data reveal that while vaccines are imported by most countries around the globe, they are in relative terms exported by few countries. Vaccines are imported by 208 economies (relative to other products, vaccines are in the 6th percentile in terms of the total number of importing countries); whereas they are exported by 90 economies (relative to other products, vaccines are in the 35th percentile in terms of total number of exporting countries). All countries need vaccines but not all are able to produce them.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives.

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