US drug giant Pfizer's announcement that its anti-Covid vaccine is over 90% effective may be a big hope for richer countries – that it would be a pandemic killer – and have also perked up markets on the hope for a quick economic recovery.
But it holds little hope for poor countries like Bangladesh or even India.
And the big factors that make the differences are cost and vaccine preservation temperature.
Pfizer's vaccine needs to be preserved at minus 80 degrees centigrade, and Bangladesh simply does not have the cold chain to maintain that low a temperature. India also does not have such a cold chain.
And the cost.
The Pfizer vaccine is based on messenger mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acids, which translate DNA information into proteins involved in bodily functions) and this is a costly production process. For example, Moderna has said its vaccines would cost $37. There is no reason for Pfizer's to be any cheaper.
Even India does not have any mRNA-based vaccines.
"They [Pfizer] are working on a formulation that will be more stable. Currently we have no system in this country to be able to deliver a minus 80-degree Celsius vaccine," said Indian medical scientist Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor of microbiology at CMC Vellore, known for her work on vaccines, in an interview with Scroll.
The situation is the same in Bangladesh.
Dr Shamsul Haque, member secretary of the Covid-19 vaccine committee, said the country has a system to preserve vaccines at minus 2 to 8 degrees centigrade. "We have no system that is able to deliver minus 60 to 70 degrees Celsius vaccines."
The vaccine good news has no impact on our market. While markets in the USA, Europe and Asia shot higher, the index in Bangladesh stock market fell on Tuesday over investors' selling pressure.
Pfizer's announcement, however, exemplifies once again the ground reality that the pandemic stricken world has desperately been waiting for vaccines to contain the virus to save people and the global economy.
The dire need for vaccines has prompted Pfizer to begin manufacturing the vaccine last month although its vaccine has yet to get approval. It has already manufactured "several hundred thousand doses" of the jab at its plant in Puurs, Belgium, The Mail reported last month.
They are being stockpiled ready to be rolled out worldwide if clinical trials are a success, and regulators deem it safe and effective, says the report.
The US giant hopes to make 100 million doses available this year, of which 40 million are destined for the UK – a figure that will be dwarfed by the 1.3 billion jabs the company aims to manufacture in 2021.
This seems a gambling. But, Pfizer is not alone at it.
An Australian company on Monday began the manufacturing of Oxford University's vaccine.
The company, CSL, is making about 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine despite the fact that the vaccine is still going through Phase III clinical trials, says ABC news.
The results from these trials won't be known until the end of the year. And if they are positive, the vaccine will still need to get approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian regulator.
The gambling by the Federal Government and CSL means Australia has a chance to roll out the vaccine as soon as it gets approval – assuming it gets past the Phase III trials and the TGA's scrutiny.
Sydney bio-ethicist Angus Dawson says starting production early is a calculated risk.
"It is extremely unusual to do so," Professor Dawson said. "It is a high-risk strategy that could cost billions of dollars if it fails, but its success could save hundreds of thousands of lives.
"A vaccine would take at least six months to produce but by actually manufacturing and then stockpiling those vaccines now, we can get ahead."
Closer to home, in India, the Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine maker, is investing $800 million to help find, and then produce, a vaccine, and has already spent $300 million of that.
It has gone on a deal-making frenzy and secured five partnerships over the past six months; the biggest of the deals is that with AstraZeneca.
The UK pharma giant licensed Serum Institute to manufacture a billion doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine called AZD1222 – with 400 million to be delivered this year.
In an interview with Forbes last month, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, said, "It's a huge personal risk I am taking.
"Vaccine production is like a rollercoaster ride with all sorts of probable results; you just need to be patient until the final result is out."