Moderna on Friday (Oct 29) announced a pact with the GAVI vaccine alliance to supply a further 56.5 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter of next year to low- and middle-income countries.
The vaccine maker said the doses will be in addition to an earlier commitment to supply 60 million doses in the second quarter of 2022 to GAVI, which co-leads the COVAX facility for equitable distribution of COVID-19 shots around the world.
The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organization and GAVI, has delivered some 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 140 low- and middle-income countries, but several countries run the risk of failing to meet WHO's target of 40 per cent vaccination coverage by year-end.
Moderna said the doses will be offered at a low price and GAVI continues to retain the option to procure 233 million additional doses in 2022, for a potential total of 500 million doses between this year and next.
"We have recently offered to COVAX to access more vaccines for Q2 and Q3 2022," Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said.
The company earlier this month announced an investment of up to US$500 million to build a facility in Africa with the goal of producing up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines each year, including its COVID-19 shot.