May 04, 2021 08:11
Moderna announced Monday it will supply the COVAX vaccine sharing program with up to 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2022. The news comes simultaneously as Sweden announced it would send one million doses of the AstraZeneca shot as well.
Under the deal, Moderna will work with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to supply 34 million doses later this year to COVAX, a program created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.
The shots will be offered at the company's "lowest tiered price" and Gavi will be able to buy an additional 466 million doses next year in 2022.
"We recognize that many countries have limited resources to access COVID-19 vaccines," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel wrote in a press release. "We support COVAX's mission to ensure broad, affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and we remain committed to doing everything that we can to ending this ongoing pandemic with our mRNA COVID-19 vaccine."
The agreement comes after Moderna's shot was approved for emergency use listing by the WHO on Friday, a prerequisite for COVAX eligibility.
Meanwhile, Sweden's donation of AstraZeneca shots marks the second by a European Union (EU) member, following France's donation last month.
The donation comes amid mounting concerns of growing inequity in vaccine distribution following wealthy countries stockpiling shots for its citizens.
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