We’ve already seen the costs of supply-chain failures during the COVID-19 pandemic: Delays in the production of simple nasal swabs slowed testing by months even as the pandemic exploded in the U.S. The world is now eagerly awaiting a vaccine, and will need billions of doses as quickly as possible. If the vaccine supply chain fails, the economic and human cost of COVID-19 will be prolonged.

The multilinked vaccine production chain will take months to set up, which means starting now. Some parts are already seeing investment — glass manufacturers, for example, are ramping up production of vials. But the supply of less obvious inputs needed earlier in the chain is uncertain.

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