The Phial of Open Source Vaccines
April 2, 2021
The availability (or unavailability) of Covid-19 vaccines has become an international issue. Some people have begun asking the extent to which the problems in the supply chains stem from the proprietary nature of the vaccines and the need for exclusivity that this promotes.
At the same time a group of scientists in Finland have developed a nasal spray that they claim will prove cheaper, more effective, much easier to administer, and much easier to upgrade to deal with new variants of the virus. They have developed it as an open-source vaccine and they have found it difficult to find the funding to put it through the necessary Stage 3 tests.
In this episode of Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly discuss Covid-19, some of the issues surrounding the idea of open source vaccines, parallels with open access publishing, and the underlying systemic issues they reveal when we start to think about them.