Moderna targets production of 3bn Covid vaccines in 2022, after CEO warns of future oversupply

Moderna has said it is aiming to produce up to three billion shots in 2022, depending on the required size of future doses, as the company’s new data suggests it could be stored at refrigerator temperatures for three months.

Speaking to Reuters on Thursday, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said the company sees huge demand for Covid-19 vaccines in 2022, which underpins their decision to increase production. 

The final number of vaccines produced could be as high as three billion, depending on how many shots are lower-dose formulations for boosters and immunization for children. The shots are currently deployed as a 100-microgram formula.

“So depending upon… how much the ordering that happens is third doses or pediatric doses at 50 micrograms, we could see up to three billion doses,” Hoge noted. The figure is substantially higher than the expected 1.4 billion doses.

New data released by the company suggests that its vaccine can be stored for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures, instead of in super-cold freezers, a potentially huge breakthrough in enabling it to be used in less developed parts of the world. 

“That might be a breakthrough that really matters in 2022 in Africa and across lower- and middle-income countries,” Hoge said. 

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(FILE PHOTO) © REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
‘A good problem to have’: There will be too much Covid-19 vaccine production in 2022, says Moderna boss

Last week, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel warned that the world may have an oversupply of Covid-19 vaccines in 2022 and this could be challenging for developers such as themselves. 

“Well, if anything that is a good problem to have in terms of dealing with the pandemic but it’s not a nice problem to have if you’re the one manufacturing the vaccine I guess,” he said.

Also on Thursday, Spanish contract drugmaker Rovi said it would double its capacity to bottle Covid-19 vaccines for Moderna. It is likely to form a major part of the EU’s ongoing vaccination program against the virus, as Brussels has rejected AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

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