Medical Technology

Moderna Won't Share Its COVID Vaccine Formula

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Moderna will not share the formula for its COVID-19 vaccine with other companies despite calls from international organizations for the company to do so, Moderna chairman Noubar Afeyan said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Moderna concluded it could increase global supply faster by expanding its own production instead of sharing its mRNA technology with manufacturers in other nations, Afeyan said. 

“Within the next six to nine months, the most reliable way to make high-quality vaccines and in an efficient way is going to be if we make them,” Afeyan told The Associated Press. 

Afeyan noted the company went from zero production to 1 billion doses in less than a year and said “we think we will be able to go from 1 to 3 billion” in 2022.

Moderna has come under criticism for distributing its vaccine mainly to the United States and other wealthy Western nations instead of poorer countries. The United Nations health agency and the World Health Organization are among international groups urging Moderna to share its formula.

Afeyan said Moderna, a Massachusetts-based company, is helping poor nations by working with the U.S. government and other governments to send more doses overseas. 

“There is more supply in the EU and the U.S. government than they will be able to use,” Afeyan told The Associated Press.

He also said Moderna has committed to provide up to 500 million doses of vaccine to COVAX, the U.N.-backed vaccine program. He said 40 million doses should ship in the last three months of this year and the rest next year, the AP reported.

The Biden administration has privately urged Moderna and Pfizer to agree to joint ventures in which they would license technology to contract manufacturers to provide more vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, The New York Times reported, citing an unnamed senior administration official.

Pfizer ended up agreeing to sell the U.S. an extra 500 million doses at a not-for-profit price, but the company did not license its technology, the Times said.

Health advocates say Moderna should share because it took $2.5 billion from the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed to develop its vaccine, the Times reported.

Sources:

The Associated Press: “Moderna has no plans to share its COVID-19 vaccine recipe”

The New York Times: “Pressure Grows on U.S. Companies to Share Covid Vaccine Technology”

Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/960776?src=rss

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