Economic Savings in America: A Story of Public-Private Partnership in Rapid COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Deployment

Anusuya Chatterjee, Ross DeVol, David Shideler

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The rapid development and deployment of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic lessened the impact of the virus on the economy, generating an estimated economic savings in the U.S. of $438 billion in terms of 2021 real GDP gain, or 2.3% of 2021 real GDP.

These savings, and the development of the vaccine itself, are possible because of the United States’ unique public-private partnership between government agencies, academia and the biopharmaceutical industry that supports innovations in disease therapy. Specifically, the biopharmaceutical industry was and continues to respond to the pandemic swiftly with new therapies because it has been allowed to commercialize other therapies in the past which then provides available capital for new research and development activities. While much is unknown about the latest variant of the COVID-19 virus, Omicron, one thing is for certain: the angst and uncertainty would be far greater if not for the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines and other therapies under development. As we look ahead, this public-private partnership is an example many industries long for and one that cannot be comprised without lessening medical innovation of our future.

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