The Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) released the following Policy Brief in May 2023: A Shot of Resilience: A Critical Analysis of Manufacturing Vulnerabilities in Vaccine Production. According to the brief, security in the vaccine supply is vital for a variety of U.S. interests including biosecurity, public health, and economic stability. Routine vaccinations increase overall life expectancy and decreases hospitalizations. Unfortunately, this report notes two key vulnerabilities in the vaccine supply; “limited domestic manufacturing and a lack of manufacturing redundancy.” Because the U.S. relies heavily on foreign biomanufacturing of vaccines, control of vaccine production levels are out of their hands, even during a public health emergency. Vaccine shortage is also a risk when multiple vaccine production facilities are not utilized. According to this report, the U.S. government needs to prioritize vaccine supply as a matter of national security. The authors suggest three areas of improvement in this matter: 1. Protect the existing vaccine supply; 2. Identify and monitor vaccine manufacturing vulnerabilities; and 3. Increase vaccine manufacturing resiliency. Included in the report is a timeline titled “A Decade of Advancing the Bioeconomy as a National Strategic Priority,” featuring 15 key moments over the last 10 years that have strengthened the U.S.’s biosecurity. Also included in the report is a list of over 60 vaccines included in the analysis.
For more information, check out HSDL’s In Focus topic on Biodefense.