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Global demand for vaccine packaging is projected to rise 6.9% annually to $3.6 billion in 2025. Factors driving this gain will include:
- continuing worldwide use of established vaccines to prevent diseases such as diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, human papillomavirus (HPV), measles-mumps-rubella, meningitis, pneumonia, rotavirus, and seasonal influenza
- expansion and upgrading of preventive medicine activities, including government-sponsored mass vaccinations of vulnerable age groups
- expansion of public educational resources to promote the benefits of vaccines, encourage their greater usage, and inhibit the spread of disinformation about them
- the increasing use of higher value vaccine packaging systems with enhanced barrier, safety, and ease-of-use features
Through 2022 and into 2023, the increasing availability and use of vaccines to combat COVID-19 will generate a significant spike in demand for vaccine packaging. However, by 2025 the market is expected to have moderated as the pandemic is brought under control, mass vaccination efforts seize, and average prices for the vaccine fall as production normalizes and a higher proportion of doses are sold to low-income countries.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, the outlook for vaccine packaging could change. The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants, new data about the effectiveness of vaccines against new variants, and the continued campaign to vaccinate and boost the global population could alter forecasts for a variety of packaging products.
Glass Vials Remain Popular But See Increased Competition from Prefillable Syringes
Glass vials will be among the most used types of vaccine packaging due to their low cost, strong barrier properties, and breadth of applications served. Demand in the short-term will be bolstered by the widespread distribution of COVD-19 vaccines, which were exclusively packaged in glass vials in 2020 and 2021 as mass vaccination campaigns around the world made multi-dose packaging both efficient and effective.
However, prefillable syringes – which pose a much lower risk of cross contamination and are easier to use because they do not require pre-injection preparation – continue to provide stiff competition to multi-dose glass vial packaging. As the global vaccination rate for COVID-19 increases, it is likely that more doses will be packaged in prefilled syringes, which reduce waste if there are not many people who require doses at the same time.
High-Income Countries Will Lead Vaccine Production & Related Packaging Demand
Reflecting the activities of advanced pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, and Sanofi, high-income countries in North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific will, as a group, account for a much larger share of global vaccine production value and related packaging demand than those with developing vaccine industries. Based on the operation of broad pharmaceutical industries, China and India will comprise the largest vaccine producers and packaging consumers among countries with developing vaccine and pharmaceutical markets.
Global Vaccine Market Overview
The global market for vaccines totaled an estimated $42.1 billion in 2020, up 6.9% annually from 2015. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for vaccines in that year was not significantly affected because vaccines for that virus did not come on the market until early 2021. In fact, as people sheltered in place, worked and went to school from home, deferred nonessential medical treatment, and reduced international travel due to close borders, demand for vaccines softened. Additionally, supply shortages and production constraints initially restrained vaccinations in most countries outside of the US and Western Europe. However some countries, such as China and India, achieved significant progress in boosting vaccine availability.
Global vaccine demand patterns typically exhibit the following trends:
- Bivalent oral polio, diphtheria-tetanus, and measles vaccines accounted for the largest volume usage.
- The largest-selling vaccines, based on revenues, were indicated for the prevention of pneumococcal valent, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, shingles, polio-pertussis-Hib (Haemophilus influenza B), and measles-mumps-rubella.
- Preparations for travelers and military personnel emerged as attractive niches served by global vaccine producers.
- Led by the US and Western Europe, the high-income economies maintained high vaccination rates, providing sizable demand for most types of vaccines.
- Supply shortages and production constraints initially restrained vaccinations in most countries outside of the US and Western Europe. However some countries, such as China and India, achieved significant progress in boosting vaccine availability.
- Vaccines encountered continuing resistance among small percentages of individuals, especially in the United States and Western Europe.
The market for vaccines skyrocketed in early 2021 after numerous COVID-19 vaccinations were introduced and given emergency clearance for use among first adults and then most children. Introduction of boosters and continued low vaccination rates in less affluent countries kept demand elevated throughout the year and is expected to bolster the market into 2022 and possibly 2023. However, as global vaccination rates rise, the market will trend down toward levels typical of those seen before, with most vaccinations among those of certain ages and in areas that are first gaining access to modern healthcare.