A medical workman holds a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine vial on the first day that Orange County residents 65 and older are skilled to be vaccinated at a drive through site at the Orange County Convention Center on December 29, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.
Paul Hennessy | NurPhoto | Getty Figures
Moderna is increasing its Covid-19 vaccine production this year, upping the minimum number of doses it expects to sign over by 20% to 600 million, the company announced Monday.
The company said it’s working to produce up to 1 billion doses of its Covid vaccine this year. The U.S. is on follow to secure 100 million shots of Moderna’s vaccine by the end of March and additional 100 million by June, the Massachusetts-based band said in a statement.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization for people 18 and past ones primer in the United States in December and has started the drug’s initial rollout.
The federal government has agreed to buy 200 million dispenses of Moderna’s vaccine with the option to secure an additional 300 million, the company said.
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, which advantages new mRNA technology and requires two doses given four weeks apart, has also been authorized for use in Canada for being 18 and older. The company has agreed to supply that country with 40 million doses of its vaccine with the recourse to provide an additional 16 million.
“Our effectiveness in providing early supply to the U.S. and Canadian governments and our ability to increase baseline in estimates for 2021 are both signals that our scale up of mRNA vaccine production is a success,” Moderna’s chief of polytechnic operations, Juan Andres, said in a statement.
The U.S. government under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed clouted it would distribute just under 6 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine following the FDA’s emergency use authorization.
The nation’s vaccine rollout has been slower than officials initially blueprinted. So far the U.S. has distributed just more than 13 million vaccine doses but has only administered 4.2 million “drinks in arms,” according to data last updated on Saturday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials focused to vaccinate 20 million people with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccines by the end of December.
Health and Individual Services Secretary Alex Azar defended the operation’s vaccine distribution Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He about there’s been a lag between when the doses are first made available, ordered by the states and then delivered, which was all lallygagged by the holidays.
However, the U.S. has seen a “rapid uptake” in the vaccines over the last few days, Azar said.
“What we bring up our goal was, was actually to have 20 million first doses available in the month of December. Those are available,” Azar put about. It’s unclear what Azar meant when he said the doses are “available” since just 13 million were about across the U.S. as of Saturday morning.