Moderna to supply 500 million doses to WHO’s struggling COVID-19 vaccine effort
Moderna will sell up to 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to a campaign backed by the World Health Organization, giving a much-needed boost to a global initiative that has been plagued by inequity, funding shortfalls and a severe supply crunch.
The agreement, announced Monday, came amid growing calls for both vaccine-makers and wealthy nations to do more to address the vaccination gap between rich countries and the rest of the world.
However, the deal will do little to alleviate shortand medium-term supply concerns. Under the agreement, the company will work with Covax to supply 34 million doses at its “lowest tiered price” by the end of 2021, with the option for 466 million shots available in 2022.
Though such countries as Israel, the United States and Britain are beginning to see the benefits of mass-vaccination campaigns, most others are still trying to secure enough vaccine doses. Researchers at Duke University predict that some countries will be waiting until 2023.
Covax aims to distribute up to 2 billion doses this year, with an eye to reaching 20% of the population in participating low- and middle-income countries. To date, it has delivered 49 million doses.