Production of a Recombinant Spike Protein-Based SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Using the Baculovirus Expression Vector System; A Utilitarian Ethical Framework for the Analysis of Public Policies Towards Vaccine Distribution

Ouertani, Anthony, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Anderson, Eric, EN-Chem Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Wayland, Kent, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The goal of the vaccine manufacturing plant we designed was to output 400 million doses of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine per year. The plant would be sited in Cape Town, South Africa. The vaccine would be using the Baculovirus expression vector system to create a recombinant subunit protein vaccine with the spike protein for coronavirus as the antigen in our vaccine. The vaccine uses GSK’s AS03 adjuvant to increase efficacy. Our vaccine does not require the cold storage that other vaccines that are mRNA based require. This makes distribution of the vaccine in countries that lack cold chain infrastructure easier. My group designed the upstream, downstream, formulation, and filling processes to successfully produce 400 million doses in 1 year. An economic analysis was performed to determine that the project was economically favorable and that the design should proceed forward. The research question proposed in the policy analysis was to understand which of the approaches used by Russia, China, and the United States in donating vaccine doses led to the most utilitarian outcome abroad. I applied a utilitarian framework and used the idea of reducing the most deaths abroad as leading to the most well-being. I used tertiary sources such as newspapers and articles to provide a detailed account of each of the countries approaches. I then used information provided by UNICEF to calculate how many doses each of these countries donated. I broke down the number of doses donated into the type of deals and which countries these doses went to. I heavily weighed which countries these doses went to by subdividing the income of these countries. In conclusion, I suggested that both China and the United States have implemented Utilitarian policies as they each had a focus on providing vaccines to low-income countries.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Issued Date: