Introduction to statement
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2), continues to spread. SARS-CoV-2 is now present in every continent apart from Antarctica. To control the COVID-19 pandemic, governments, intergovernmental institutions, non-governmental organizations, and private enterprise are pursuing three strategies:
- Effective preventive public health policies and vaccination
- Accurate, early, and scalable testing for COVID-19
- Effective treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 patients
None of these three strategies can by themselves stop the pandemic, and all will be needed to move from the current pandemic state to a series of smaller and more manageable localized epidemics. Ultimately, by using all three strategies, a situation should emerge where COVID-19 – while likely not eradicated entirely – is managed to a point that it no longer causes the current health impacts and societal disruption.
In the near term, effective COVID-19 treatment remains essential for staff working in the industry who are affected by COVID-19. However, the industry’s role in providing these treatments is often limited. Nevertheless, the IOGP-IPIECA Health Committee will continue to share and discuss promising developments in treating COVID-19, such as the use of steroids, convalescent plasma, and monoclonal antibodies. At the same time, companies active in the oil and gas industry have significant roles to play in the first two strategic areas of prevention and testing. For the latter, the Health Committee has published a position statement which can be found here.
The purpose of this position paper is to map the current landscape of COVID-19 vaccine development and provide information for the oil and gas industry to assist decision making regarding vaccination usage. The choice not to present a conclusion or singular industry position on the use of vaccines was made because there is, as of November 2020, no proven effective COVID-19 vaccine and national regulations and contexts require tailored policies to be effective. Many of the complexities are driven by the unprecedented speed by which COVID-19 vaccines are being developed, which will be explained in the next section.Download full statement