Moderna Inc has agreed to supply its new variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine to the global initiative aimed at getting vaccines to the world’s poorest people.
GAVI, the vaccine alliance, and the biotech company will cancel their existing supply deal for vaccines based on the original coronavirus strain. Instead, beginning in 2023, Moderna will supply up to 100 million doses of its new, variant-adapted vaccines at the lowest available price.
GAVI, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other global organizations, leads the COVAX initiative. 146 countries have received 1.79 billion doses of COVID vaccine through the scheme, including nearly 186 million doses of Moderna’s original shot.
While the initiative initially struggled for shots as wealthy countries snatched up limited supply, it now has a surplus of the original vaccines, prompting negotiations to try to better align supply with demand.
Moderna’s bivalent COVID vaccine, which contains both the original coronavirus strain and the BA.1 Omicron variant, has received regulatory approval worldwide.
The new agreement, according to GAVI CEO Seth Berkley, is a “critical step for equitable access,” allowing lower-income countries to use the modified vaccines as they see fit.
Many richer countries have begun to use the vaccine in booster campaigns.
GAVI stated that it is in talks with other vaccine manufacturers to adjust supply agreements.
(Adapted from Latestly.com)