Moderna eyes 3 billion Covid vaccine doses in 2022

Paris, France: Moderna, a US pharmaceutical company, said Thursday that it expects global development of its cutting-edge Covid vaccine to reach three billion doses by 2022.

The business announced new funding commitments to expand supply at its manufacturing facilities in Europe and the United States in a statement.

The investments would more than double drug material production at its Swiss partner Lonza and more than double performance at Rovi in Spain. Moderna's US manufacturing facilities will see a 50% rise in production.

The combination of its mRNA vaccine and possibly lower doses of Moderna's pediatric vaccine and variant booster shots would determine if it reaches the three billion mark, according to the company.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine was found to be extremely effective against the virus, at 95% protection, which is on par with Pfizer's vaccine that packs the same technology. 

In addition, the company increased its production outlook for this year from 800 million to one billion doses.

The announcement comes at a time when the proliferation of virus variants in countries such as India has sparked questions about the world's ability to combat the pandemic.

"As we follow the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, we believe that there will continue to be a significant need for our mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates into 2022 and 2023," chief executive Stephane Bancel said in the statement.

Messenger mRNA vaccines infiltrate human cells, essentially turning them into vaccine-production factories.

Announcing the interim results of the large-scale Phase III clinical trials with over 30k participants, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said“This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.”

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