Science and our understanding of infections has improved considerably in the last century. We know enough to say that vaccines work and it is a net positive to humanity. However, it took a pandemic for all the Governments in the world to scramble to meet the challenges of vaccinating the human population. Large pharmaceutical companies are shedding crocodile tears about the amount they are investing to fast track the vaccine for COVID-19. The truth cannot be farther from that. The world needs tremendous capacity to build vaccines at the speed of the internet if we are going to address the challenges of the future posed by viruses and other infections like COVID-19. I don’t have an answer to why we are starting to see infections that are getting deadlier and more creative, there are enough conspiracy theories to meet everyone’s imagination.
If want to learn about how we tackled previous pandemics, here is a great compilation by the History channel, How 5 of History’s worst pandemics ended.
The pandemic has happened, what we need to do is figure out how we can get to some form of routine/normalcy. Please note I am not saying that we need to get back to where we were, I am saying that the world has changed and the challenge is front of us is to figure out how to grow, cope and push the human race forward. I am going to go on a rant now so bear with me… Iceland does not have a vaccine manufacturing company. The reason it does not exist is because Iceland never had to worry about getting vaccines because of its small population. Actually we are fortunate that we don’t have to worry about this but it is going to cost us plenty. My startup thinking mind says here is a fantastic opportunity to start a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Iceland. I don’t know why we would not do that. Actually there is enough market demand for it, we will solve two massive problems i.e. make sure our population can have enough vaccines and we can supply the rest of the world as well. The vaccine wars are starting and despite all the best efforts it is going to be ugly. Some thought leaders have suggested that the best way to prevent vaccine wars is to make sure it is manufactured from small countries, that way it will prevent hording by large countries. Iceland is perfect for it and I can assure you all the arguments made against it will not hold.
Iceland has done extensive testing given the population, it is an island and we have enough people to build vaccines using antibodies extracted from the population. Instead of trying to build a new industry in Iceland we are outsourcing this to God knows which country or which pharmaceutical company. All the pharmaceutical companies in Iceland should be jumping to solving this problem but all I hear are crickets (I mean the insect and not the sport :)).