- Moderna intends to increase production of its COVID-19 vaccine next year, rather than share vaccine technology with other manufacturers
- The company believes that producing all Moderna vaccine doses is the best way to ensure high quality, said President Nubar Afyan.
- A recent report found the Biden administration is prompting Moderna to send more doses abroad or share its technology
- The company has sent the smallest portion of its doses to low-income countries of any vaccine maker, and is now developing boosters for wealthy countries.
Moderna Inc. intends to dramatically increase production of its COVID-19 vaccine over the next year, rather than sharing the technology with manufacturers in other parts of the world.
“Within the next six to nine months, the most reliable way to make high-quality vaccines and in an efficient way is if we make them,” said President Nubar Afyan an interview with the Associated Press.
This interview happened recently report good It shows the Biden administration is pressuring Moderna to send more doses abroad or share vaccine manufacturing information with companies in other countries.
The company has faced increasing criticism in recent months, sending the smallest portion of its vaccine doses to low-income countries of any vaccine maker.
“They are behaving as if they have no responsibility other than maximizing the return on investment,” Dr Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the Times.
“The most reliable way to make high quality vaccines and in an efficient way if we make them,” said Moderna chairman Nubar Afyan. Image: Afyan listens to questions during his interview with the Associated Press, October 11, 2021
In the US, about 65% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose – compared with less than 5% in low-income countries in Africa
In the US, about 56 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated while 65 percent have received at least one dose, according to the CDC. statistics Display.
Although millions of eligible Americans have not yet been vaccinated and some dose wasted, the country has a far higher vaccination rate than many others.
For example, only 0.6 percent of Tanzania’s population has received at least one vaccine dose, According to our world in the data.
Vaccination rates are similarly low in other African countries: 2.3 percent in Nigeria, 2.5 percent in Ethiopia, and 5.7 percent in Kenya.
Overall, more than half of the world’s people living in high-income countries are fully vaccinated, while less than one percent of the world’s lowest-income countries are fully vaccinated. According to an analysis of nature.
Some global health experts say vaccination rates are too high in the US and other wealthy countries because the makers of these vaccines do not share their technology with other companies.
The Global South is already home to companies that manufacture other vaccines and similar products. If they are allowed to do so, then these companies will produce the Kovid vaccine.
Yet most vaccine manufacturers do not share the intellectual property or technical information needed to make this possible, insisting that they are best suited for producing the vaccines they develop.
Moderna’s president, Nubar Afyan, reiterated this stance in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday.
He reminded Moderna’s pledge not to impose patent infringement on other COVID vaccine manufacturers.
“We didn’t have to do that,” Afyan said.
‘We think it was the right, responsible thing to do. We want this to help the world.
Afyan told the AP that he has confidence in Moderna’s ability to build enough manufacturing capacity for global vaccination efforts, without relying on other companies.
Moderna’s Kovid Vaccine is currently the only commercial product of the company. Image: Vials of this vaccine, February 2021
The company ‘went from zero production to having one billion doses in less than a year’, Afyan said.
He expects Moderna to continue this trend, and dramatically increase production to three billion doses in 2022.
Afyan told the AP, ‘We feel like we are doing everything we can to help this pandemic.
Afyan is also the co-founder of Moderna, which was started in 2010 as a company dedicated to mRNA technology.
mRNA – or messenger RNA – refers to a piece of genetic material that can teach cells to produce specific proteins, such as the coronavirus protein that primes the immune system against COVID.
Because of Moderna’s history with this technology, Afyan said the company has a unique expertise and ability to mass-produce its mRNA vaccines.
If the patents were shared with other manufacturers, ‘it’s hard for me to imagine that they would be able to get any meaningful scale in a short time frame as to the quality for 2022’, he told the AP. . .
Moderna’s mRNA-based COVID vaccine is currently the company’s only commercial product.
the company saw $1.73 billion in revenue According to the Wall Street Journal, in the first quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile, the company has so far shipped just one million doses to low-income countries – compared to more than 190 million doses distributed in the US.
Pfizer has shipped about eight million doses to low-income countries while Johnson & Johnson has sent 25 million, According to the New York Times.
Some US officials are now pressuring Moderna to ship more doses abroad or license the vaccine to other manufacturers, the Times reported.
While Moderna has promised doses to other countries through the US government and through the international vaccine effort, COVAX, those doses have yet to arrive.
In fact, countries like Botswana and Tunisia are awaiting delivery of Moderna, while the company develops booster shots for wealthy countries.