Sunday once more, end of the weekend and of the month.

Woke up to a purring of snow in the garden and along the top of the wall but I think it has been too cold for real snow, I think I would rather have the cold weather.

When I went into the common room this morning, curiosity tempted me to have a wee peek at the seeds planted last week, and there were two or three wee shoots showing. No matter how often I see this I am always amazed when it happened. I look forward to planting-out in march, not far off now.

I was interesting that the English nationalistic rhetoric, over the past few days,

Note the flag is not the Union Jack but the St Georges Cross.

However, vaccine contracts have been toned down somewhat, Liz Truss the international trade sec. Was on Sky this morning and was back peddling good time, lots of talk about working together and no one is safe until everyone is safe, was it fullish for the EU to threaten to stop all exports from the EU if this trade war continued? OK the EU has been condemned by many and has taken a bit of flack, but it did have the desired effect, it had Boris hot-footing it to the phone and phone his opposite number in the EU trying to pour oil on troubled waters. And what came over very clearly was – the EU Philadelphia lawyers did a good job when they drafted the withdrawal agreement, don’t play hardball with us, we have a big bat.

I am not a big fan of Tony Blair, but he does talk some sense sometimes and this morning was one of those times. This virus is a big problem for the world and we have to learn from our mistakes. When the Test, Trace and Isolate, part of the programme failed the only solution to get the UK out of this mess was vaccination and that had to be done as quickly as possible. The UK as Blair pointed out, got their contactor signed around 10 to 12 weeks before the EU, (this came about because Germany did not wish to hog all of their vaccines but share it with all the countries of the EU). For the UK it was all about serving their end first, and the devil takes the hindmost.

Another point that Blair made was that we will see variants of this virus (mutations) so we will have to be much smarter (aware) when these viruses appear and have in place the labs to deal with that and the production in place to ramp up any new vaccine that may be required.

The problem I have in all of this is –

The UK government has poured billions of pounds into the development of COVID-19 vaccine, but no matter the money that was given to such companies to produce the vaccine, at warp speed, the patent for the vaccine still remains with the company producing the vaccine, they still hold control over, who gets it, how it is supplied and when (and why the big stushie the EU is having with the developers in the UK).

I find it much easier to get data from America than the UK, what the federal government has spent,

The fed has pledged $9 billion to fund the development and production of the vaccines with Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Novavax and AstraZeneca.

Moderna received nearly $1 billion and will receive an additional $1.5 billion to produce 100 million doses.

Johnson and Johnson received $456 million for vaccine research and development and will be paid $1 billion for 100 million doses.

Novavax will get $1,6 billion in federal funding for research, development, and 100 million doses.

AstraZeneca is set to receive $1.2 billion that will cover 300 million doses along with certain costs pertaining to phase 3 clinical trials and manufacturing.

The cost per dose ranges from $3 to $37 depending on the vaccine. Moderna, a two-dose vaccine, recently announced each dose will go for around $32 to $37.

Pfizer vaccine, also given in two doses, is expected to cast $19.50 a dose.

Johnson and Johnson’s two-dose vaccine will cost an estimated $10, and AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine could be the cheapest at just $3 to $4 a dose.

Novavax’s two-dose vaccine is estimated to be $16 a dose.

In America, they say no person will have to pay out of their own pocket for the vaccine, vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost.

So you still pay on the back-end, (taxes) but not upfront, as for the initial cost of development and production, sorry folks that will have to come from the taxpayer too.

The pharmaceutical companies will charge for the vaccine when they’re released, and we have seen how some companies (mainly the American companies) have a mark up of 80 per cent on the product. So how long before any poor third world country will be catered for, especially if we need to vaccinate every year, much like the flu vaccine?

Will we see a divided world, some countries band from travelling to others because they are too poor to buy the drugs needed to suppress the virus?

We have seen a rise in potentially deadly viruses across the world, but none has been so widespread as this pandemic is it not time therefore for a worldwide programme where the money is put in to develop the vaccine but the world then holds the patent rights, and the vaccine can quickly be reproduced by any country as and when required, rather than have the world held to ransom by half a dozen greedy pharmaceutical company?

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