Moderna is to increase supply at its manufacturing facilities, which it expects will increase global 2022 capacity to up to 3 billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine. This will depend upon the mix between the authorised Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the 100 μg dose level and potentially lower doses of the company’s variant booster candidates and paediatric vaccines, if authorised.
“As we follow the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, we believe that there will continue to be significant need for our mRNA Covid-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates into 2022 and 2023. We are hearing from governments that there is no technology that provides the high efficacy of mRNA vaccines and the speed necessary to adapt to variants, while allowing reliable scalability of manufacturing. Today we have announced that our investments in Europe, including Spain, France and Belgium, Switzerland, and the US will allow us to deliver up to 3 billion doses in 2022, depending on the mix of product between primary series of vaccination and variant boosters,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.
Moderna believes that this investment in increased supply is necessary due to an expected significant need for booster vaccinations in 2022 and beyond. The company highlighted published studies predicting that waning immunity will impact vaccine efficacy within 12 months, and published studies showing variants of concern have lower starting neutralising antibody titres and may lead to breakthrough infections among those already infected or vaccinated, compounding the potential need for variant boosters in the coming years.
Moderna further believes that mRNA is the best-positioned technology platform to meet the global need for ongoing vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2. The company’s belief is based on the observations that mRNA vaccines have the highest published efficacy among authorised vaccines; the demonstrated ability of mRNA platforms to respond rapidly to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including variants of concern; and the capability for mRNA technology to produce multi-valent vaccines. Moderna announced earlier this year that it is already testing SARS-CoV-2 variant vaccine and multivalent vaccine boosters in humans.