Moderna is shifting ahead to extend the availability of Covid vaccine in each vial

A detail of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Allen J. Cockroaches | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Moderna said Monday it had “positive feedback” from the Food and Drug Administration on its proposal to increase the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses in each of its vials.

One vial of Moderna’s two-shot vaccine contains ten doses, enough to vaccinate five people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNBC reported last month that Moderna had asked the FDA for permission to fill their Covid-19 vaccine bottles with up to five extra doses to remove a manufacturing bottleneck.

In a prepared statement filed ahead of a House hearing on Tuesday, Stephen Hoge, President of Moderna, said the US agency had “given the company positive feedback on our proposal and we are pursuing a plan that will keep the withdrawal up.” allows up to 15 doses from each vial. “

“That way we can produce and deliver more cans faster,” Hoge told the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee. “We will continue to work with our manufacturing partners and the federal government to increase the efficiency of our production process without.” Impairment of quality or safety. “

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden tries to accelerate the pace of vaccinations in the US after a slower-than-expected rollout under former President Donald Trump and states are complaining that they are running out of doses.

Biden announced on Feb. 11 that his government had signed contracts with Pfizer and Moderna for an additional 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the US number to 600 million. Since both approved vaccines require two doses three to four weeks apart, a total of 600 million doses would be enough to vaccinate 300 million people. The Biden government expects all of this to happen by the end of July.

It is unclear whether Moderna expects to be able to dispense 300 million doses by the end of July due to the increase in the doses per vial.

In December, the FDA announced that healthcare providers could use additional doses from vials of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. These vials are said to contain five doses, but some vendors have been able to extract a sixth or even a seventh dose. As with Pfizer, some vendors were able to use special syringes to obtain an additional dose of the Moderna vaccine.

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