Moderna commits up to 500M vaccine doses to COVAX
Moderna will supply COVAX with up to 500 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine starting at the end of the year, the U.S. drugmaker announced Monday, just as Sweden pledged it would send 1 million doses via the vaccine-sharing mechanism.
Under the deal, Moderna will work with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to supply 34 million doses to COVAX — a mechanism established with the World Health Organization and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries — in late 2021.
The vaccines will be offered at Moderna’s “lowest tiered price,” and Gavi will be able purchase an additional 466 million doses in 2022.
“We recognize that many countries have limited resources to access COVID-19 vaccines,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel wrote in a press release. “We support COVAX’s mission to ensure broad, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and we remain committed to doing everything that we can to ending this ongoing pandemic with our mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”
The WHO listed Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use at the end of last week, paving the way for four vaccines to be used around the globe via COVAX. The WHO has already added BioNTech/Pfizer, two manufacturers of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and Johnson & Johnson to its emergency use list.
However, COVAX had only delivered a fraction of the vaccines it had planned to supply by May, as large, wealthy countries have purchased many of the available doses. In addition, the Serum Institute of India, which was meant to produce many of COVAX’s doses, has not been able to export due to India’s temporary ban on vaccine exports.
Sweden unveiled plans on Monday to send 1 million Oxford/AstraZeneca doses via the vaccine-sharing mechanism to “help address immediate-term supply delays,” according to a Gavi press release. The doses are fully paid for already and will ensure high-risk groups like health care workers receive their second shots.
So far, France has sent about 100,000 Oxford/AstraZeneca doses out of 500,000 pledged to Mauritania via COVAX.
Ashleigh Furlong contributed reporting.
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