Abstract for: Mechanisms to Enhance Availability of Vaccines Against Epidemics: a Case Study of Ebola

Despite the growing impact of infectious disease outbreaks, there are insufficient investments in prophylactic vaccines. Typical risks associated with vaccine development and commercialization are exacerbated when targing emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). Unsteady demand, usually at low volumes and in countries with limited public health capacities, leads to poor commercial viability. The focus of this work is to better understand interactions between supply and demand for vaccines against EIDs, taking Ebola as a case study. Given the complex factors contributing to national-level vaccine availability against EIDs, system dynamics is used to 1) identify root-causes of delays (long response times following orders) and 2) evaluate strategies that can mitigate the impact of future outbreaks. More specifically, based on a causal loop analysis, two types of levers are explored: market shaping mechanisms (e.g., reducing costs, increasing expected revenues) and post-licensure deployment (e.g., emergency response following outbreaks, preventive vaccination in high-risk areas). The aim is to reconcile incentives across the system to ensure reliable, timely, and sustainable supply of vaccines against EIDs in response to changes in demand.