translated from Spanish: Why is it not possible to produce a vaccine for Covid-19 in Chile?

Today our country is totally dependent on international markets on the issue of medicines because of the high cost of its large-scale development and production.
However, Chile had a glorious past in its elaboration during World War II, when to avoid the scientific supply of the Institute of Bacteriology of the University of Chile began to produce penicillin in 1942, after fulfilling all stages of cultivation, harvesting and standardization of the plant drug.
This is pointed out in the public health journal of the Medical College of Chile, adding that, with the support of the Chile Laboratory, it continued with the manufacture of vaccines, serums, insulin, cod oil and other medicines, supplying all hospitals in the country.
This wartime work was recognized by the UN, an organization that supported the construction of a penicillin production plant in Chile. The publication also states that the closure of the state industry began in 1973, when production plants began to become obsolete and were abandoned or sold to private.
According to The Doctor of Molecular Biology expert in viruses and bacteria Alejandro Denmark, currently the country’s capabilities have limitations, since until a year ago it was technically unthinkable to make biotechnology focused on producing in Chile.
“The most successful thing that has been done – under the current conditions – is to generate patented and validated technologies to transfer them to other countries, because here you can create and develop a vaccine, but not do the production. This can be given to third parties, basically because in Chile there is nowhere to produce”, raises the researcher of the Center for Micro-Bioinnovation (CMBi) of the University of Valparaiso.
Regarding the production process, Denmark notes that “Chile made the mistake of strengthening the business more than the area” and therefore “it is very expensive, it requires advanced technological implementation and a state investment on a mega scale”.
He also argues that “it is essential that Chile develop and put more resources on biotechnology as a discipline, so that therapeutic solutions, including vaccines, can be developed. This is feasible, as scientists and biotechnologists and biotechnologists can focus on producing.”
For her part, Carolina Campos, PhD in Pharmacology and Academics from the School of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the U. de Valparaiso, concludes that “it would be ideal for Chile to be able to produce vaccines, but it requires a change in the allocation of state resources, which finances something like this and convenes professionals and researchers with high experience and competence in the subject”.
“Vaccine production is complex, requires quality and effectiveness controls. In addition, it is one thing to have the capacity and infrastructure to produce vaccines and it is another thing to have the vaccine that is required at the moment. For example, to develop the Covid-19 vaccine you have to work with the virus or fractions of the virus and that requires high-scale security measures and highly trained personnel,” he says.

Original source in Spanish

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