A detail of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Allen J. Cockroaches | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Moderna said on Monday it had received “positive feedback” from the Food and Drug Administration on its proposal to increase the number of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in each of its vials.
One vial of Moderna’s two-dose 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 refill its Covid-19 vaccine vials with up to five additional doses to ease a manufacturing bottleneck.
In prepared testimony Presented ahead of a House hearing on Tuesday, Moderna chairman Stephen Hoge said the US agency had given the company “positive feedback on our proposal, and we are pursuing a plan that may take up to 15 doses from each vial “.
“This will allow us to produce and deliver more doses faster,” Hoge told the Subcommittee of the Oversight and Investigations Committee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We will continue to work with our manufacturing partners and the federal government to increase the efficiency of our production process without compromising quality or safety. “
The disclosure comes as President Joe Biden tries to speed up the pace of vaccinations in the United States after a slower-than-expected rollout under former President Donald Trump, and states are complaining about not having enough doses.
Biden announced on February 11 that his administration had reached agreements with Pfizer and Moderna for an additional 200 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the US total to 600 million. Since the two licensed vaccines require two doses given approximately 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 this to be done by the end of July.
It is not known whether the increased doses per vial is the reason Moderna now expects 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 vials of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. These vials are said to contain five doses, but some providers have been able to extract a sixth or even seventh dose. As with Pfizer, some providers were also able to withdraw an additional dose of Moderna vaccine using special syringes.