But I also strongly disagree with people who will say that these are normal circumstances!
And under these circumstances, I think it makes sense to ask if other options have the ability to increase supply. Especially in the short run. A 350,000 daily caseload number with a CFR of even 0.1% is reason enough for me.
Put another way, if the opportunity cost of sticking to only market-based price mechanisms is lives lost because of insufficient vaccines, is it worth the trade-off?
To me, no. This is that one year out of a hundred where you do what it takes, no matter what.
So what do we do next?
Run the numbers! If we adopt the solutions that have been outlined in the Scroll piece, how much does vaccine production go up by? And by when? If we find out that it goes up by only 1% against the baseline (do nothing) scenario, and that only after six months, then it is not worth it. But, on the other hand, if we find that it is possible to increase supply by 25% by the end of May as against the do-nothing scenario, then sign me up for this plan. Again, run the numbers.
So have we run the numbers?
As best as I can tell, no. There is no analysis that I can find online (published by the government or otherwise) that has run these scenarios.
Running the numbers is complicated, I appreciate that. It is not just a simple question of saying “x” is the monthly capacity of plant “y”. There’s supply chain bottlenecks, efficiency considerations, learning curves, technology transfers and much more involved. But is developing this model necessary? For reasons answered in questions 1-5, I think so, yes.
So why don’t I run the numbers?
Why not indeed? But before I try, if any of you have… …any information about whether or not this has already been done by somebody …arguments for why this should not be done… Please, do let me know.
Also, if any of you have any links that will be helpful in this analysis, please, do let me know.