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The Impact of COVID-19 on Vaccine Producers and ESG Performance

Orenda Software Solutions

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The pharma-biotechnology sector has been historically scrutinized by the global community. Their core business gives rise to an eternal ethical dilemma that supersedes most other sectors. Their products and innovations aim to safeguard human health and to save lives. However, their need to maximize profits often stains their social standing.

The sector has faced strong public criticism on a range of topics. For example, how pharmaceutical companies price products to maximize shareholders’ wealth at the cost of the masses’ inability to pay for them; how products are designed to increase users’ addiction rates to materialize scaling and recurring revenues; or how clinical trials on animals are unethical.

Select pharmaceutical companies are now also challenged by COVID-19. Globally, society continues to be vigilant in taking a stand on fair and adequate vaccine supply, the commercialization of vaccines, marginalized populations, and vaccine side effects. As companies’ self-disclosed press releases, traditional media updates, and government statements are published, communities around the world react to them and share their personal experiences in relation to the situations they endure in their communities. For instance, they express frustration when there is a vaccine shortage, serious side effects, or simply share their general distrust in vaccines. Simultaneously, a percentage of society is also grateful for efforts made by pharmaceuticals to combat COVID-19 spread and to bring the world back to pre-pandemic course.

Examining and understanding the convoluted situation COVID-19 brought upon key vaccine providers is a challenging task, primarily when analyzing the impact, the pandemic had on a company’s ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) practices throughout several phases of the pandemic. Having a thorough understanding of how communities report on a company’s ESG actions was crucial to reaching a level of data sophistication that allows the public, such as asset managers, to make informed investment decisions. The importance of this historical event and the dynamic variables it has on the day to day of such companies requires high frequency and relevant ESG data that can fulfill this need.

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