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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shortfall could affect UK supply

But deliveries to the EU and Switzerland are not affected by the supply issues

Moderna is reportedly facing supply issues for its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, which could affect supplies to ‘a number of countries’ including the UK.

In a statement, Moderna said that the ‘trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses’.

The company added: ‘Vaccine manufacturing is a highly complex process and a number of elements, including human and material resources, have factored into this volatility.’

Moderna is working with Swiss company Lonza on the manufacturing of its vaccine, with the issues in the European supply chain believed to be the main cause of the delays.

Countries including the UK, Canada and others are expected to be affected by the shortfall, although the UK government has said that it remains on track to meet its target of offering at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by the end of July.

Moderna is only set to deliver around half – 650,000 – of the planned 1.2 million doses to Canada by the end of April, according to the country’s Procurement Minister Anita Anand.

In addition, one to two million doses of the 12.3 Moderna doses earmarked for the second quarter are also set to be delayed until Q3, according to a report from Reuters.

Deliveries to the European Union and Switzerland are not affected by the supply issues, a Moderna spokesperson told Reuters last week.

The supply issues come as Moderna aims to increase operations at three new Lonza facilities at the company’s site in Visp, Switzerland.

In January, Lonza’s chief executive officer told reporters that it may take “a couple of months” until the Visp site can ramp up productions to “cruising speed”.

The company has built capacity to produce enough ingredients to manufacture 400 million does of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine per year, from a US production line as well as the three Visp lines.

The Moderna vaccine is the third jab to be rolled out in the UK.

The UK has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is administered in two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

19th April 2021

From: Research

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