More doses will be demanded than the vaccine industry can produce now with its current capacity. The vaccine industry produced an estimated 23 billion doses in 2010, and demand should be ready to produce another 12-15 thousand by 2015. This is the result of increased population, the popularity of adult vaccines, expected new products, and vaccines in developing nations. We detailed this in our latest report on Vaccine Production.
To produce that amount of vaccine doses, the industry must improve its process. We suspect that cell-based and plant-based forms of vaccine production will see increases. We think the existing egg-based production may have to switch to a more logistically sound method for the increased flu vaccine demand. And we suspect outsourcing will be come more common.
Five companies dominate the global market for vaccine development and production. Smaller firms are developing new vaccines and novel production technologies.
The five key vendors have the production infrastructure, regulatory knowledge and contacts, and distribution systems for global delivery of needed vaccines. All improvements in products and processes are expected to involve GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Merck, Pfizer, and Novartis, either as developers, partners, or acquirers. Look for them to seek more partners in the future to provide the vaccines demanded.