Moderna will provide up to 500 million doses of COVAX’s COVID-19 vaccine, a UN-backed program that provides images of people in low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2022. The announcement comes days after the World Health Organization (WHO) added the two-dose hit the emergency list, noting the fifth vaccine that received such permission.
“I am grateful to our partners Gavi and COVAX for their tireless work and to the entire Moderna team for their cooperation in reaching this agreement,” said Stefan Bansel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement posted on the company’s website on Monday. “This is an important milestone as we work to ensure that people around the world have access to our COVID-1
Last week, Moderna announced investment initiatives to expand global supply capacity to 3 billion doses in 2022 and raised its production forecast for 2021 to between 800 million and 1 billion doses.
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The first distribution of the vaccine is expected to be delivered by the end of the year, but the vast majority, approximately 466 million, will be sent in 2022. The COVAX program has also received a boost from Sweden, which has announced it will donate 1 million photos to AstraZeneca.
“Sweden’s announcement that it will share 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine with COVAX is a superb gesture that needs to be replicated urgently and repeatedly by governments around the world to accelerate the fair distribution of vaccines worldwide,” he said. Q. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes, WHO Director-General, said in a statement Monday. “Such support will ensure that people in vulnerable countries, especially in Africa, can receive their second doses through the COVAX initiative. Sweden’s most generous support is very timely, as it comes at a time when the world is most in need. from her.”
The program came as a blow to supply issues in recent weeks when India, a major producer of AstraZeneca, banned exports as it turned its attention to the crisis at home. Tedros said the program “urgently needs” the 20 million doses it expected to receive in the second quarter of 2021. It is unclear when India could resume supplies, as it faces a shortage of supplies and demand for vaccines among its own population. The United States has pledged to send raw materials to India to support efforts to produce vaccines, oxygen, personal protective equipment and other supplies needed to combat the devastating surge.
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“We are very excited to sign this new agreement with Moderna, giving COVAX Facility participants access to another highly effective vaccine,” said Dr. Seth Berkeley, CEO of Gavi, in a news release. “Expanding and having a diverse portfolio has always been a major goal of COVAX and to remain adaptable to this ever-evolving pandemic, including the growing threat posed by new options. This agreement is a further step in this direction. “