This year, we witnessed a truly unprecedented demonstration of medical and scientific prowess as multiple pharmaceutical companies developed effective COVID-19 vaccines in an unbelievable time span of just 10 months. However, not all vaccines are created equal. While the development of these vaccines exemplifies the scientific abilities of our civilization, the reaction towards the different vaccines also exemplifies the fundamental differences between free market and socialist medical systems.
United States: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Expensive, but 95% effective.
Two COVID-19 vaccines were produced by American pharmaceutical companies. Both have been approved by American authorities, with distribution efforts currently ongoing. The first was produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, and the second was produced by Moderna.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine “showed efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic Covid infection,” and the Moderna vaccine is “94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19.”
Both require two doses, and both require “an elaborate cold chain.” The Pfizer vaccine “must be shipped and stored at -94 Fahrenheit,” while Moderna’s “must be shipped at -4 Fahrenheit,” the temperature of a standard refrigerator freezer. Pfizer’s vaccine must be used within five days of thawing, while Moderna’s can be stored at fridge temperature for 30 days or at room temperature for 12 hours.
According to the Observer, Pfizer’s vaccine costs an estimated $20 per dose, and Moderna’s vaccine between $10 to $50 per dose. Shipping and storage requirements add further financial restraints.
United Kingdom: Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. 62% effective, but cheap!
On December 30th, the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZenenca — a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, England — was approved for use in the United Kingdom, with the first doses due to be given in early January.
Compared to the stunning 95% efficacy rate of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine “showed 62% effectiveness.” However, the Oxford vaccine is easier and therefore cheaper to store and distribute, as it can be “kept at normal fridge temperature.”
According to the Observer, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will cost under $4 per dose.
The difference between free market and socialized medicine.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, celebrated the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as “a triumph” for British science. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared, “This is a significant moment,” and said that the vaccine’s approval was “a huge British success story.”
The fact that what appears at the moment to be a vastly inferior vaccine is being described as a “triumph” says everything you need to know.
In the COVID-19 vaccine market, customers have three options. Two are more expensive and logistically complicated vaccines which provide a stunning efficacy rate of approximately 95%. The other option is a cheaper vaccine which will provide less of a logistical challenge, of which more than 1 in 3 will be ineffective.
Many on the Left want to emulate the British medical system — the golden calf of the National Health Service (NHS) — by “providing” American citizens with “free healthcare.” Those who support this notion should compare the systems of the United States and the United Kingdom — and how they are approaching vaccination against COVID-19 — and think again.
In the United States, under a (largely) free market system where quality is ensured through competition and private enterprise, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are being distributed. Yes, they’re expensive. Yes, they’re complicated. But yes, they work — very well.
In the United Kingdom, under a government controlled medical system devoid of choice, competition, or quality control, which vaccine is being distributed? Not the expensive vaccines which work 95% of the time! No, the British government have embraced the “easier” option which works 62% of the time. In other words, the cheap vaccine which doesn’t work 38% of the time.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock even boasted about the affordability of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Parliament.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) December 30, 2020
You couldn’t find simpler or more definitive evidence of why the attitudes which underpin the American medical system far surpass those of the United Kingdom — or indeed any other socialist (or socialist-esque) systems.
For the United States, and other free market medical systems, the primary concern is the quality of care. In this context, a vaccine with a 95% efficacy rate is a triumph, while a 62% efficacy rate is a failure.
For the United Kingdom, and other socialist medical systems, the primary concern is keeping costs down. In this context, an expensive and effective vaccine is an extravagance, while a cheap and comparatively ineffective vaccine is a “triumph.”
If you support Medicare for All but would choose either of the American vaccines over the British vaccine, then you need to take a long hard look in the mirror.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.