Moderna is ramping up its investments in production capacity to more than triple its annual COVID-19 vaccine production for 2022, thus paving the way for more messenger RNA COVID 19 vaccines to be in circulation next year.
Stphane Bancel said the CEO designed the multi-billion dollar investment to help prevent the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.The investments will help increase raw materials production at its Swiss-based partner Rovi more than double formulation and fill finish capacity at the Spain partner Lonza, and double production at Moderna’s US-headquartered plants by 50%.
However, the plan stops short of sharing intellectual property with other companies to increase production this year and draws the criticism from Democratic Senators imploring Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson Johnson to increase access to vaccines around the world.
Although Moderna announced in October that it would waive enforcing of patents and was willing to share intellectual property Bancel said Yahoo Finance did not have the bandwidth and doing so would be at the detriment of the company's 2022 outlook.The company has maxed out its current capacity for 2021 doses and isn't as big as competitor Pfizer, he said.
Because we are still a small company, you know moderna is 1.300 people, the tech transfer would take more resources away this year to prepare for the next year if we had to outsource some technology.That will limit our ability to make as many doses as we can this year, Bancel said.
According to Reuters, Bancel met with the U.S. TradeU.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in order to talk about IP issues.Meanwhile, the U.S. government has increased its investment in Moderna by more than $200 million and the companies commitments from various countries continue to roll into 2022.
Even as Western nations and Israel are rapid vaccinating a greater proportion of their populations, World Health Organization has said that the virus can linger until a majority of the world is vaccinated — which could take until 2023.
A need for booster shots could be a key to Moderna's growth, whether targeting lower variants or specific dose options in 2022 and beyond.The research is already underway, with the first round of boosters expected at the end of the year.
Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University, recently said that he believes 2021 is too soon for a booster shot to be vaccinated for most Americans in the United States as the nations is still working through its first round of vaccinations.
But Bancel said there likely will be a need for more and more vulnerable Americans by fall, who began getting vaccinated in December and January because their immunity improves faster than that of healthier adults.
The Chance of being sick if you got vaccinated in December 2020 and January 2021, is pretty high, said Bancel.
In addition, the ongoing global spread leaves the door open for even more variants — including the nightmare scenario of a mutation in the vaccinatory protection.
What's already happened in India?They thought they were done with the virus.They were not, Bancel said.
None Biden COVID 19 adviser: Vaccine news is great, but we still have a way to go!
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