Many experts in the field assumed that COVID-19 would run a similar course to other epidemics that have happened in the past, and manufacturers knew they would need to increase their production rates, but no one knew by how much.
For a while, as distributers sold through whatever inventory they already had on hand, we didn’t see a huge jump in glove prices, but as the supply dwindled, we began seeing prices going up, reaching a peak by the fall.
If nothing else, COVID-19 has taught all of us to be adaptable, and that’s just what is going to have to be the case when it comes to the questions we have about the disposable glove industry. One thing we can be pretty sure of is that the increased demand for disposable gloves is not going away any time soon. It is important to keep our expectations flexible and willing to adapt as we move forward.
When it comes to actual glove material needed to produce disposable gloves, we know there will continue to be a shortage of disposable nitrile gloves until butadiene rubber (the material used to make nitrile) is available. Vinyl, however, is still readily available. Although vinyl doesn’t have the most solid reputation for being a heavy-duty protector, it is still a good alternative to latex and nitrile, especially in this current situation.
All we can do is keep moving forward and working to adapt to whatever comes our way.