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Synology DiskStation DS1511+ packs 15TB (or 45TB with booster drives)
Synology has outed its latest NAS, and the DiskStation DS1511+ certainly doesn’t skimp on storage space. The five-bay box can store up to 15TB alone, but will also link up with Synology’s DX510 expansion units for a total of 45TB. Meanwhile data is shuffled in and out fast, with Synology using link aggregation for up to 197MB/s read rates and 165MB/s write when in RAID 5 configuration.
Each of the drive bays are hot-swappable, and there are twin gigabit LAN ports for hooking up to your network. Keeping things churning are a 1.8GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM (3GB supported), and there are four USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA for hooking up external drives or using the DS1511+ for printer sharing duties.
Despite the storage potential, Synology reckons the DS1511+ only gobbles down 68W in use, and since it runs the same great software as we reviewed on the Synology DiskStation DS211, you can set it up as everything from a basic network drive to a media server, mail server, FTP store, IP camera station and more. It’s available now, priced at around $870 for the drive-free DS1511+ unit itself, or in various pre-configured forms.
Synology® Unveils High-Performance DiskStation DS1511+ with Greater Scalability and Full-Featured NAS Solution for SMB Users
Taipei, Taiwan—Dec 21, 2010—Synology® Inc. today unveiled DiskStation DS1511+, a high-performance NAS server that offers greater scalability, significant storage capacity and full-featured business NAS solutions for SMB users.
As information data increases exponentially by the minute, the performance of data transmission becomes a predominant requirement for setting up a centralized file server in a business environment. “With link aggregation, the DS1511+ surpasses its predecessor to deliver an astonishing 197 MB/sec in reading speed under RAID 5 configuration in a Windows® environment, and 165 MB/sec in writing,” said Chad Chiang, the product manager of Synology Inc. The 2 LAN structure with failover support coupled with hot-swappable drives thus ensure high data availability.
The DS1511+ provides space for five hard drives – with a single drive reaching a 3TB capacity – that can be scaled up to a total of 15 drives for a maximum of 45TB by connecting with two Synology DX510 expansion units. The default 1GB RAM can also be upgraded to 3GB to enhance work process performance. Running on a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, the DS1511+ only consumes 68 watts of power during operation, while the multiples scheduled on/off, wake on LAN/WAN and hard drive hibernation facilitate energy saving and low operating cost. The reliability of DS1511+ is solidified by Synology’s 3-year limited warranty.
Blessed by the Synology DiskStation Manager 3.0 (DSM 3.0) operation system, the DS1511+ can fit to a business environment easily. Windows ACL support allows for customized privilege setup on files and folders through existing Windows user interface. Moreover, user account can be managed more efficiently and productively by utilizing the Windows ADS integration to reduce burden of IT administration.
For anyone seeking an alternative of Storage-Area-Network (SAN), the affordable and cost-effective iSCSI support in DSM 3.0 allows SMB users to consolidate storage into data center storage arrays while providing hosts with the illusion of locally-attached disks. The DS1511+ also serves as a seamless storage solution for virtualization servers, such as VMware® vSphereTM, Microsoft Hyper-VTM, and Citrix® XenServerTM.
The Synology DS1511+ has many features that enhance the effectiveness of resource sharing. The comprehensive network protocol support assures seamless file sharing across Windows, Mac® and Linux platforms, while file access on the Internet is simplified by the encrypted FTP server and the web-based file browser. In terms of security protection, the presence of HTTPS, firewall, IP auto-block and AES 256-bit encryption engine provides users with a peace-of-mind during file sharing.
The Synology DS1511+ is now shipping globally.
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Hard drives and flash drives are the two major types of storage devices used in computer systems for permanent data storage. The most basic difference between these two storage devices is that a hard drive is an electromechanical storage device having some movable parts, whereas a flash drive is an electronic storage device made of integrated circuits.
Read this article to learn more about hard drives and flash drives and how they are different from each other.What is a Hard Drive?
A hard drive is an electromechanical storage device used in computer to store data and information permanently. It is also known as hard disk drive (HDD) or hard disk or fixed disk. Hard drives use magnetic storage media to store digital data.
A hard drive typically consists of a group of disk platters made of non-magnetic material like aluminium alloy. These disk platters are coated with a layer of a magnetic material to form the storage media on the disk. Disks are mounted on a spindle. A magnetic reader arm is provided to read data from and write data to the disks.
In hard drives, data can accessed in a random manner which means individual data can be accessed in any order. Hard drives are the type of non-volatile storage devices used in computer to store data even when computer is turned off.What is a Flash Drive?
A flash drive is a type of memory device used in computers for permanent data storage. Flash drive is a type of semiconductor memory. It is also known as USB (Universal Serial Bus) drive.
Flash drives are commonly used as for data storage, file transfer, data backup, etc. Flash drives are usually the type of plug and play portable memory devices. These days, flash drives are being widely used as external storage devices in computers and other computing devices in place of hard drives. Flash drives are more reliable and efficient storage devices as compared to other types of memory devices.Difference between Hard Drives and Flash Drives
The following table highlights all the significant differences between hard drives and flash drives −
Hard drive is a type of electromechanical storage device.
Flash drive is a type of semiconductor storage device.
Also known as
Hard drive is also known as hard disk drive (HDD), or hard disk, or fixed disk.
Flash drive is also known as USB drive.
Hard drive stores data in spinning disks with the help of a read/write head.
Flash drive stores data in cells of a semiconductor memory chip.
Hard drives come in relatively high storage capacity.
Flash drives have smaller memory capacity than hard drives.
For same storage capacity, hard drives are less expensive.
Flash drives are more expensive than hard drives.
Hard drives consume more power.
Flash drives consume comparatively less power.
Physical size & weight
Hard drives are larger in size and heavier in weight.
Flash drives are smaller in size and light in weight.
Hard drives are consider non- portable storage drives.
Flash drives are very small and lightweight devices. Hence, they are portable.
Hard drives are less secure to malicious programs like virus.
Flash drives offer enhanced security measures like data encryption, etc.
Sensitive to Physical Damages
Hard drives are more sensitive to physical damages as they can be damaged more easily.
Flash drives are more durable as they can withstand more drops and bumps that hard drives.
Hard drives have moving parts, hence produce noise while operating.
Flash drives do not produce noise while operating due to absence of moving parts.
Hard drives are slower.
Flash drives are faster as compared to hard drives.
Need of power source
Hard drive requires a power source to trigger its drive circuit.
Flash drives does not require additional power source.
Hard drives have shorter life span.
Flash drives have longer life span.
Hard drives are best suited for large volume data storage in computers.
Flash drives are used for both data storage and data transfer from one computer to another.Conclusion
Both hard drives and flash drives are used to increase the memory capacity of a computer system. They both are great device for data storage. You can study the comparison between hard drives and flash drives given in the above table to decide which one best suits your need.
There are several ways to customize a Windows 11 system, and one such way is changing the system’s icon style. But we don’t get enough options to make significant changes to our system’s icons. It only lets us customize icons of selective system programs.
Due to this, it becomes monotonous and boring to see the same icons again and again. In that case, third-party icon packs come into use and let us make our system’s icons look as we want.
In this article, we’ve shared the best icon packs for Windows 11. So read ahead and choose an icon pack for your Windows 11 PC.
Best & Free Icon Packs For Windows 11
So, here is a compiled list of the most attractive and worth-trying icon packs for Windows 11:
The first icon pack on our best icon packs for Windows 11 list is Lumicons. If you want to make your system’s icons look minimal, then Lumicons is the best icon pack for you. All the icons in this icon pack are vibrant in color, which makes them pop out. Additionally, all the icons look quite clean and professional too.
One thing that’s worth mentioning about this icon set is that it includes icons for all Windows’ integrated programs and third-party apps, like Twitch, Spotify, etc. But to install Lumicons, you need to install and use 7TSP GUI, which we found quite difficult and time-consuming.
Another icon pack for Windows 11 that you can try is Shadow135. The icons in this icon pack are quite clean and simple, and all incorporate shadows which make them more realistic. Moving ahead, this icon pack includes 70+ 3D icons, including icons for Windows Update, Windows Defender Firewall, Windows Backup, Printer, and many more.
Other than this, it also has icons for popular third-party programs, like EaseUS Data Recovery, DriveEasy, AcroniseTuneImage, DriverBooster, DisplayFusion, Malewarebytes, and more.
The most highlighting part of this icon pack is that it’s pretty easy to install. You don’t require any third-party program to install them.
The next icon pack that’s worth trying on our best icon packs for Windows 11 list is Big Sur. This icon pack lets you make your programs’ icons look like Mac’s Big Sur programs icons. The Big Sur icon pack gives you the feel of Big Sur OS on your Windows 11 PC.
O Sunny Day is a free and interesting icon pack for Windows 11 that has various sketched icons, giving your system’s UI a new look no one has ever seen. It looks like a kid has hand-drawn them.
This icon pack has 63 icons, which have icons for folders, features, and apps. It also has icons for third-party programs but very few, such as Chrome. Overall, it’s a great and funky Windows 11 icon pack but comes with limited icons, which makes it less preferable.
If you’re someone who likes macOS a lot and wants to experience it on your Windows 11 PC, then OS X Minimalism is the perfect icon pack for you. Of course, you won’t get the same feature as macOS. But you’ll definitely get the same feel of macOS after installing the OS X Minimalism icon pack.
This icon pack comes with a touch of macOS icons, which are simple and minimal. Most of the icons in this icon set come with dark undertones with a glimmer of blue, which makes them more likable and catchy.
As the name suggests, 3D Cartoon Icons is an icon pack that has varied cartoonish icons. It has more than 100 icons, and all of them are made with vibrant colors. 3D Cartoon icons include icons for most Windows programs, folders, and options, such as VLC Media Player, File Explorer, Musics, RAR., etc.
Other than this, it also has icons for multiple third-party programs, such as Blogger, Adobe, CSGO, Yahoo, Mozilla Firefox, and many more.
Pixelated Icon Set is another best icon pack for Windows 11. This icon pack is the best icon set for Gen Z and millennials who used to spend hours playing games on Nintendo’s NES or Atari 7800, as this pack is inspired by them.
As you can guess by the name, Kingdom Icons is inspired by the items of a fantasy game, as it comes with icons like Axe, Hats, Gold, Diamond, Shield, Sword, Spell, and more. Similarly, this icon set has more than 50 icons that you can use as you want. For instance, you can use the Axe icon as your mouse’s cursor.
At the same time, you can replace the Gold icon with the folder icons. The best part about this icon set is that they’re so small, which saves space on smaller screens with lower resolution. Most importantly, all the icons come in PNG format, which makes them easy to apply.
The next icon set that’s worth trying on the list of the best icons for Windows 11 is Kameleon Icon Set. It’s an icon set with numerous flat icons that look simple yet attractive. This icon set has more than 120 icons, which includes icons for various system apps, such as Camera, Maps, Stopwatch, Messages, Music, Audio Equalizer, and more.
Other than this, it has icons for various Windows integrated functions. They’re just varied images or icons on a circular multicolored background. So, it’s the perfect icon pack for someone who wants to give a simple and minimal makeover to their Windows 11 system.
Simplus Icons is a popular Windows 11 icon pack that has many plain folder icons. You get access to more than 10 folder icons, and all of them work on both Light mode and Dark mode.
The best part about Simplus Icons is that they’re easy to download and install. You simply need to download the folder icons on your Windows 11 PC or laptop, select the folder which you want to customize, and move its Customize section to do so.
The next Windows 11 icon pack you can try is Flat Color W10 Icon Pack. As the name suggests, this icon set has varied flat icons for different programs, functions, etc. However Flat Color W10 Icon Pack has very few icons.
But they all are worth the hype. You get icons for different Windows’ integrated programs, functions, folders, options, and more.
Notably, most of the icons in this icon set are colored blue. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that this icon pack is inspired by Windows’ icons itself, so you know what type of icons to expect from this popular icon pack.
Insignia Master is one of our favorite icon packs on this best icons for Windows 11 list, as they all look minimal and not too fancy. The best part about the Insignia Master icon set is that it has icons for most systems’ integrated programs, folders, and options. It also has icons for different web apps, such as Facebook, Gmail, Google Drive, Twitter, Google +, and more.
Another best part about Insignia Master is that it includes icons in varied resolutions, such as 16×16, 24×24, 32×32, 48×48, 64×64, and a few more. Hence it becomes easy to use them on Windows systems with different resolutions. Overall, it’s an excellent Windows 11 icon pack.
The next icon set on our best icon packs for Windows 11 list is HUD Machine Destructor. As you can see in the image, this icon pack has many high-quality and refreshing icons.
All the icons in this icon plan are made with a combination of Blue and Black hues color. Additionally, it comes with more than 50 icons, including icons for most Windows systems’ programs, folders, functions, and options. So try the HUD Machine Destructor icon pack and see how it gives a new look to your system.
After the Kingdom Icons, this is one of the most interesting and unique icon packs on this list. Animal Icons is nothing but a collection of varied animal icons. This icon plan has more than 30 animal icons.
And all the icons come in the .PNG format, which makes it easy to set them as icons for your favorite folders. Moving ahead, the Animal Icons icon pack is one of the most kid-friendly Windows 11 icon sets on this entire list of varied icon sets.
Arc-ICONS is the last icon set on our best icon packs for Windows 11 list. As you can see in the above image, this popular icon plan includes many clean and minimal icons. It has icons for several built-in as well as third-party apps, such as OneDrive, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, and more. Other than this, it also has well-designed and minimal icons for Windows system’s functions, such as WiFi, Mouse, VPN, Display, Microphone, etc.
One thing that’s worth mentioning about this is that it has icons for different system folders, such as the applications folder, photos folder, trash folder, download folder, and more. Overall, it’s an excellent icon pack for someone who wants to keep their system’s icons minimal.
How Do I Open an ICO File in Windows 11?
You can use Windows 11 PC’s integrated photos app, called Microsoft Photos, to open an ICO file with ease.
Where To Download Icons for Windows 11?
You can download custom icon packs for your Windows 11 PC from Icon Archive and Favicon.
How Do I Install Icon Packs on Windows 11?
You need to use third-party icon pack installers, like 7TSP GUI, to install icon packs on your PC.
Is Icon Theme Aesthetic Kit Free?
Aesthetic Kit is free, but only to some extent. Some of its features require the premium version to work.
Is Windows 11 a Reskin?
Yes, the new Windows 11 is a reskin of Windows 10. Microsoft has significantly changed Windows 10’s taskbar, Start Menu, File Explorer, and UI of other system apps to make it look like new Windows.
Microsoft lets us customize all the elements of our Windows 11 system’s user interface, such as the taskbar, Start Menu, File Explorer, etc. But it doesn’t let us play much with our system’s icons. It only lets us change the icon style of a few system programs, like File Explorer.
Luckily, you can use third-party icon sets, which we shared in this detailed guide, and modify your Windows system’s icons. We hope you ended up picking the best icon pack for your Windows 11 PC. If yes, then make sure to share which icon pack you selected for your system.
The reopening of the hospitality sector is a golden opportunity for hotels to rethink how they should invest to stay competitive in the market for years to come. After labor shortages and evolving safety protocols set the industry back last year, a main theme among hoteliers now is “how do we get guests to come back?”
Research across industries shows that outdoor digital signage can help with just that. The addition of one on-premise sign results in, on average, a 4.75 percent increase in annual sales for businesses, which makes outdoor LED signage an attractive and profitable strategy for hotels.Attract passersby, who become new customers
Outdoor LED signage has the potential to boost hotel revenue. Sixty-three percent of people say that digital signage catches their attention. Once you have their attention, you can entice consumers with messages of free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, plentiful parking, discounted nightly rates or seasonal partnerships with local restaurants and wineries.
This outdoor LED signage can also communicate relevant messaging about the hotel’s cleaning standards and protocols to keep guests safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefits of digital signage is that hotels can adjust and push timely content quickly. It opens a new world of internal promotional possibilities, increasing revenue in the moment and opening future revenue opportunities.
The next revolution in hospitality
Enhance the guest experience, build your brand and drive revenue with this free guide. Download Now
For small venues, including boutique and family-owned hotels, LED displays have long been thought of as an unattainable luxury. But outdoor LED signage is now more accessible and affordable than ever, and the technology is scalable to suit businesses of any size, says Shawn O’Connell, director and head of hospitality for Samsung Display.
Many small hotels are finding that a blend of traditional static signage and outdoor LED signage is ideal. They can modernize their hotel’s exterior with video displays and maintain their brand with a static logo sign.Connect guests with local businesses
Adding a new revenue stream is a clear way for hotels to increase the ROI of hotel digital signage.
With an outdoor LED sign, hotels can sell ad space to local restaurants and bars, retailers, museums and other local attractions. This takes it a step above placing brochures for local services and products in the hotel lobby.Create consistent messaging, from anywhere
A common struggle for hospitality brand operators is maintaining consistent messaging across different locations. With hundreds or even thousands of local franchisees in the mix, this can be a huge undertaking — but a reliable content management system (CMS) can streamline the process.
“Hotels that focus on the hardware but underestimate the importance of the CMS miss out on the full benefits of digital displays,” O’Connell says. “The network and CMS are equally important parts of the solution, and must work in harmony with the hardware to maximize efficiency.”
Currently, it’s standard to use a separate CMS for the guest room, bar, concierge and outdoor signage. This fragmented approach makes it difficult to communicate to guests and push content simultaneously to all the end points, and it doesn’t result in an engaging experience for the guest. They often aren’t aware of the messaging that would be valuable to them.
Samsung’s proprietary MagicINFO CMS empowers operators to create content quickly and easily, then push it to devices instantly — even across thousands of locations.
To help ensure a successful display rollout, learn how to configure and tailor real-time messaging using an integrated CMS — like Samsung MagicINFO — with this complete guide. And see what kind of signage best suits your needs by browsing Samsung’s versatile range of innovative hospitality displays.
If you love your music with extra bass, you know that the default equalizer on your Android music player app isn’t nearly good enough to give you that added oomph. That’s especially true in the case of hip-hop, electronica, and dance music, which benefit immensely from the added emphasis on lower frequencies. The extra bass also helps in heavier music genres, like rock and heavy metal, which often include aggressive drums, screeching guitars, and mangled music. So in this article, we list the 10 best bass booster and equalizer apps for Android in 2023 that will have you rocking to your favorite tracks in no time.Best Bass Booster and Equalizer Apps on Android (2023)
The bass drop in tracks like ‘Acid Rain’ by Lorn or ‘Angel’ by Massive Attack is best experienced with the bass turned up. That said, while the increased bass might make the audio sound warmer and more immersive, it can also cause lower clarity in other areas. Be that as it may, here are the ten equalizer and bass booster apps on Android to help you get the best out of your favorite bass-heavy tracks across a wide range of genres, including rap, EDM, dubstep, rock, hip-hop, and more.
Note: The apps listed below work with most music players on Android. Many of them even work with popular music streaming apps like Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora etc. The exact features and compatibility depend on the Android version and the device manufacturer.1. Bass Booster – Music Equalizer (Best App on Android)
Download Bass Booster – Music Equalizer (Free, Pro version costs $1.99)2. Bass Booster & Equalizer
Bass Booster & Equalizer is one of the best free apps in this category on the Google Play Store. It offers a bass booster, virtualizer, and equalizer all in one app. It lets you adjust sound effect levels so that you get the best out of your music. The main features include a bass boost effect, a stereo surround sound effect, a five-band equalizer, ten preset equalizations, user-customizable presets, and more.3. Bass Booster
Bass Booster includes a ten-band equalizer that improves the sound output by offering you enhanced bass, virtualizer, and other settings. It also has an ‘iPod music player‘ that mimics Apple’s now-deprecated music player from the past. Bass Booster is an easy-to-use, lightweight Android app with a user-friendly interface and a built-in sound booster (31Hz to 16KHz +10 dB) that gives you a home theater-like experience.
Download Bass Booster (Free, Pro version costs $1.99)4. SpotiQ (Best Bass Booster and Equalizer Android App for Spotify)
As its name suggests, SpotiQ is an audio equalizer and bass booster app that works with the online streaming service, Spotify. It comes with a graphic equalizer with five frequency bands and many different genre-based preset equalizer options. Of course, the app also features a bass boost system that can add and adjust deep/ natural boosts to tracks on your Spotify playlists.
Download SpotiQ (Free, in-app purchase starts at $14.99)5. Bass Booster, Volume Booster – Music Equalizer
There’s also a surround sound feature, a virtualizer, a stereo-led VU meter, edge lighting, and more. Presets include R&B, Piano, Lounge, Loud, Latin, Electronic, Deep, HeadPhones, Vocal Boost, Treble Boost, Bass Boost, Acoustic, Rock, etc.6. Equalizer & Bass Boost
The app also offers a 3D surround virtualizer and a volume booster to enhance the audio experience. You get customizable UI themes, edge lighting, and more to personalize the app to your liking. Most importantly, the app works with most Android music players.7. Equalizer – Bass Booster & Volume Booster
Equalizer is an easy-to-use app with bass booster, volume booster, and 3D virtualizer effects. It offers a 10-band equalizer for devices running Android 9 and above, while those with Android Oreo and older versions only get a 5-band EQ.
The app also includes four cool themes, a media volume control, a stereo surround sound option, a revolving edge lighting lamp, and more. There’s also a colorful music visualization spectrum and 10 presets equalization, including Normal, Classic, Dance, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Jazz, Pop, Rock, and more.8. Equalizer, Bass Booster & Volume Booster EQ
The Equalizer, Bass Booster & Volume Booster app brings a 5-band global EQ that lets you adjust sound effect levels so that you get the best out of your music. You have customizable presets for classical, dance, heavy metal, hip-hop, jazz, pop, rock, and other genres.
There’s also a volume booster that enhances the sound across the spectrum, including ringtones, alarms, notifications, and more. The app also offers a virtualizer, a stereo-led VU meter, and a bass booster for headphones and speakers. Finally, the app also includes a visual sound spectrum that synchronizes to the audio. The app works with most audio players on Android.9. Bass Equalizer & Pod Music Player
As its name suggests, this app not only includes an equalizer and bass booster but also serves as a music player. The UI takes inspiration from Apple’s old iPods and looks pretty clean. The app also includes a virtualizer & 3D stereo surround sound effects. The 5-band equalizer offers ten presets, including classical, dance, jazz, pop, hip-hop, etc.10. Equalizer FX
Last but not least, we have Equalizer FX. It includes all the features you would expect from an app in this category, including a bass booster, an equalizer, a volume enhancer, virtualization, and more. It comes with 12 presets and lets you create your own presets on top of that. The app not only works with a variety of music players on Android, but it also supports streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, etc. It does not, however, work with FM radio apps.
Download Equalizer FX (Free)Best Bass Booster and Equalizer Apps to Enjoy Techno, Hip-Hop, or Dubstep Music on Android
So these are our picks for the best bass booster and equalizer apps on Android. I use the Bass Booster app, the first one on the list, as it offers full bass reproduction in some of my favorite tracks from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, and Metallica. Even though these tracks do not have an obvious bass drop, unlike EDM tracks, the app does a good job of lifting the bass output.
In fall 2023, Johnson & Johnson announced a deal with Aspen Pharmacare, a pharmaceutical company based in South Africa. Once Johnson & Johnson gained approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and South Africa for its COVID-19 vaccine, Aspen Pharmacare would manufacture millions of doses for use in that country and abroad. The deal included a major shipment for South Africa: 31 million doses, enough to inoculate over half of the country’s residents with this one-shot vaccine.
But once Aspen began actually producing vaccines in summer 2023, the vast majority of these doses were not used to vaccinate South Africans. Instead, the doses were sent out to Europe— as South Africa was hit hard by the Delta variant.
“They [Johnson & Johnson] would have no power to extract such a concession from the US government or the EU,” Hassan says. “But they can do that in Latin America and Africa.”
Thanks to pressure from South African activists and others, spurred by a New York Times investigation, the country was eventually able to put a temporary pause on vaccine exports. This allowed millions of Johnson & Johnson vaccines to stay in South Africa. As of October 15, the country has administered about 14 million vaccine doses, according to Our World in Data.
Aspen’s contract represents just one example of the vaccine inequity brought on by companies that prioritize their highest-income clients over the rest of the world. Booster shot campaigns are now exacerbating this divide, as limited vaccine supplies continue to go to wealthy countries first and manufacturers in low-income countries are barred from accessing vaccine technology.Artificial scarcity
Popular Science talked to six experts from around the world, all of whom agreed that the major pharmaceutical companies that developed COVID-19 vaccines have limited amounts they can supply to lower income companies mainly because they insist on controlling the manufacturing of all doses of those vaccines.
When companies have absolute control of where to send their vaccine doses, it serves their best interests to send those doses to wealthy nations first, says Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the WHO. Wealthy nations are “easier markets to service,” she says, with high prices and already-established infrastructure to deliver doses.
“If that market continues to purchase,” Harris says, vaccine companies are “not going to be interested in contracting in other markets.”
Booster shots essentially extend the scarcity further by presenting wealthy nations with an opportunity to jump to the front of the vaccine line again. “Supplies that are currently available are diverted” for boosters, says Hassan. “Just to serve preferred customers in the richer North.”
As a result, countries like the U.S., the U.K., and Israel have ample supplies for booster shot campaigns while countries like Botswana—which signed a contract with Moderna in June—have not received a single dose. Shipments to this African nation were supposed to start arriving in August.
In addition, Hassan notes that centralizing all vaccine production with a small number of manufacturers can be dangerous when an error occurs, like the contamination that shut down a Maryland factory making Johnson & Johnson vaccines in April. “If you only have a handful of suppliers,” Hassan says, “when there’s a problem in Baltimore, it affects the entire global supply chain.”Logistical issues
When booster shot campaigns in wealthy nations delay dose shipments to other countries, the delays don’t just impact dose supplies themselves. These delays also bring logistical uncertainty, making it difficult for low-income countries to plan effective vaccination campaigns.
“We can’t tell countries what’s coming,” Harris says. Public health leaders need to know when their vaccine shipments are coming, how many doses they’ll receive, and other crucial information. She says, “You need to plan your cold chain, you need to plan your campaigns, you need to tell people, ‘vaccination will be available these days in these places.’”
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in particular require a lot of preparation, Harris says, because of their mRNA technology. To administer these vaccines, countries need to obtain special low-temperature freezers and train health workers to handle the products.
“If the day that people have been told to come, they turn up and there’s no vaccine, they probably won’t come back the second time,” she says.Importance of global vaccination
If the coronavirus continues spreading anywhere in the world, it has the capacity to spread everywhere. Every new infection provides the virus with an opportunity to mutate, potentially generating a new variant—like the Delta variant, first identified in India in early 2023.
Saha finds it concerning that right now, many countries with lower vaccination rates are also densely populated, poised for continued coronavirus spread. In Bangladesh, about 23 percent of the country has received at least one dose, according to Our World in Data. For many countries in Africa, this number is under five percent.
Plus, many current vaccine campaigns in low-income countries are relying on doses of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. These two vaccines, produced in China, are “proving far less effective than some of the other vaccines,” says Peter Maybarduk, director at the DC-based nonprofit Public Citizen. In fact, the WHO recently recommended that recipients of these two vaccines over age 60 should get booster shots of the same or different vaccines. “We’re now entering an era of second-class vaccines for second-class people,” Maybarduk says.
Harris argues that vaccinating people in low-income countries may actually be a better return on investment for the U.S. than providing booster shots at home. The Americans who are willing to line up for booster shots have already received one or two vaccine doses, she says—meaning that they are already well-protected from severe COVID-19 disease and death, unlike the millions of unvaccinated people in both the U.S. and low-income nations.
“All the work in countries where you’ve got good [vaccine] coverage should be on getting those unvaccinated people vaccinated,” Harris says.Open up the technology
The Biden administration has argued that the U.S. is capable of both vaccinating the world and providing booster shots at home. But so far, the administration has focused on pledging donations—which experts say is not the long-term way out of the pandemic.
“We’ve had many, many pledges,” Harris says. “We haven’t seen much delivery on those pledges.” For example, Biden’s pledge to donate one billion Pfizer doses will not be realized until the end of 2023, if it meets its deadline at all. As of late September, under 200 million donated doses have gone out from the U.S.
“The only way you’re going to be able to do booster shots and vaccinate the whole world is if you actually open up the technology and scale up manufacturing,” Hassan says.
Saha agrees: “Increasing production is the only way out.” Currently, a small number of companies have a monopoly on producing COVID-19 vaccines, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. She says countries like the U.S. can “put their foot down and say, ‘hey Moderna, hey Pfizer, you have to let local companies manufacture and export at low prices.’”
Moderna may be particularly poised for such pressure because the U.S. invested $2.5 billion in its vaccine development and production, says Marcela Vieira, project coordinator for medicine access at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. The company has sent fewer doses to low-income countries than any other vaccine manufacturer; and the Biden administration is pushing Moderna to send more doses abroad, according to the New York Times.
Vieira says there’s more that the Biden administration could do to pressure Moderna. One option is a forfeiture agreement that would “attach conditions to public funding of R&D [research & development].” In other words, Moderna would be required to make their technology more broadly available to other manufacturers in order to receive further funding from the U.S. government.
Another option, Vieira says, is called march-in rights. “When a significant amount of government funding was received for a company to obtain a patent,” she says, “the government can exercise its march-in rights and can claim ownership over the technology.” The U.S. government has invested enough money into Moderna’s vaccine that it could essentially seize that technology—then share it with manufacturers in other countries.
Noubar Afeyan, Moderna’s chairman, has said that vaccine production would be most “reliable” if the company controls all manufacturing. But Vieira and Saha both argue that plenty of companies in the Global South are already set up to produce other vaccines, and are capable of quickly pivoting to make COVID-19 vaccines if they gain access to the technology. Some companies have even made direct offers to Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca—only to be rejected.Systemic issues
“I cannot be angry at people who are getting those booster shots,” she says. “It’s not an individual problem. It’s not like if one person doesn’t take a booster shot in the United States, that vaccine comes to Bangladesh, or goes to Malawi.”
Instead, Saha says, booster shots in the U.S. and other wealthy nations provide another example of the global health inequity that she’s faced throughout her career, working on childhood vaccinations in Bangladesh. “Our experience of trying to work with policymakers, both nationally and internationally, has taught us that all lives are not valued equally around the world,” she says.
This is a systemic, policy issue that cannot be changed overnight, Saha says. Yet if solutions are implemented—for example, opening up COVID-19 vaccine technology for manufacturing in low-income nations—the shift may have implications for future global health crises.
“It’s not only about this pandemic,” she says. “There are other pediatric vaccines that are still scarce, that children are not getting around the world. The same facilities [that make COVID-19 vaccines] can then be used to manufacture other vaccines—and to manufacture vaccines for the next pandemic.”
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