Moderna talking to US about Covid-19 vaccines for low-income countries

Moderna is in the process of expanding its manufacturing capacity so it can produce up to 3 billion vaccine doses next year.
Moderna is in the process of expanding its manufacturing capacity so it can produce up to 3 billion vaccine doses next year.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Moderna Inc is interested in partnering with the US government on possibly providing additional doses of it Covid-19 vaccine to help address the pandemic in low- and middle-income countries, the company said.

Spokesman Ray Jordan said in an e-mail that the company wouldn't provide additional details about any particular talks.

Moderna is in the process of expanding its manufacturing capacity so it can produce up to 3 billion vaccine doses next year, compared with its goal of up to 1 billion this year.

The talks between Moderna and the US were reported earlier by CNBC.

The United States appears to be ramping up efforts to supply vaccine to poorer countries as its domestic immunisation campaign is slowing down. More than half of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, according to Bloomberg's Vaccine Tracker.

The Biden administration also intends to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer Inc's vaccine to share internationally. The government will purchase about 200 million doses this year to distribute through Covax, the World Health Organisation-backed initiative aimed at securing an equitable global vaccine distribution, and about 300 million doses in the first half of next year.

Both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines require two doses given several weeks apart to provide maximum protection from the coronavirus.