Takeaway: How viable is a product strategy that depends on coercion, especially in a changing political environment.

Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from a complimentary Health Policy Unplugged note written by our Health Policy analyst Emily Evans. Click HERE to learn more about Emily's research process and the analysis subscribers receive.

COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Depends More on Mandates Than Health Concerns - AdobeStock 395077344

As we contemplate yet another episode of PFE and MRNA's public campaign for COVID vaccines - this time one that addresses the Omicron variant - and another rushed Adcomm meeting, it is worth wondering if all the single minded pursuit of COVID-19 vaccinations is going to ultimately have political consequences.

Big business is no longer the natural friend of the Republican party. The script has been flipped. Big Pharma, Big Tech and all the rest of the Mr. Big Club find themselves in ideological and philosophical wars with Republican governors and Members of Congress that under most conditions would have been considered ill-advised in an earlier time.

Also in an earlier time, Governors and Members of Congress might not made retaliatory moves to escalate the controversy - as we saw in Florida v Disney - preferring to stay on good terms with large employers.

No more. The gloves are off and PFE and MRNA look like nice targets for oversight and investigations in 2023. Central to the discussion might be how the companies, especially PFE, manage to continue to apply for and obtain Emergency Use Authorizations, at least a year on from the actual emergency and when the FDA is armed with alternative treatments. 

As the chart demonstrates, administration of COVID-19 vaccinations is heavily dependent on coercion. Administration dropped off significantly in early 2021 as disease ebbed and vaccination campaign for the elderly appeared pretty successful.

From that point forward, acceleration in administration looks episodically dependent on employer mandates, OSHA and HHS emergency workplace rules and the courts intervention in same.

People generally move to protect themselves from danger. Yet, despite expanded eligibility, the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant and the waning effectiveness of the first generation shots, no one seems interested in the risk reward calculation for more vaccinations right now.

More to come, I am sure.

COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Depends More on Mandates Than Health Concerns - COTD