A detail of the Modern COVID-19 vaccine.
Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles Times | fake images
Moderna said Monday that it received “positive comments” from the Food and Drug Administration about its proposal to increase the number of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in each of its vials.
A vial of Moderna’s two-shot vaccine contains ten doses, enough to inoculate 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 its Covid-19 vaccine vials with up to five additional doses to alleviate a manufacturing bottleneck.
In prepared testimony delivered before a House hearing on Tuesday, Moderna Chairman Stephen Hoge said the US agency has given the company “positive feedback on our proposal, and we are pursuing a plan that may allow up to 15 doses are withdrawn from each vial. ” . “
“This will allow us to produce and deliver more doses more quickly,” Hoge told the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Commerce and Energy Committee. “We will continue to collaborate with our manufacturing partners and the federal government to increase the efficiency of our production process without compromising quality or safety. “
The revelation comes as President Joe Biden is trying to accelerate the pace of vaccines in the U.S. after a slower-than-expected rollout under former President Donald Trump, and states complain they don’t have the sufficient doses.
Biden announced on February 11 that his administration has secured deals with Pfizer and Moderna for another 200 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the US total to 600 million. Because both licensed vaccines require two doses administered three to four weeks apart, the total of 600 million doses would be enough to inoculate 300 million people. The Biden administration expects all of that to happen by the end of July.
It is unclear if the increased dose per vial is the reason Moderna now hopes to be able to deliver 300 million doses by the end of July.
In December, the FDA said healthcare providers could use additional doses from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine vials. Those vials were said to contain five doses, but some providers were able to draw a sixth or even a seventh dose. As with Pfizer, some providers have also been able to draw an extra dose of Moderna’s vaccine using special syringes.