The company’s president said on Monday that Moderna has no plans to share the recipe for its COVID-19 vaccine as executives concluded that ramping up the company’s own production is the best way to increase Granthshala supplies.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Nubar Afyan also reiterated a pledge Moderna made a year ago that patent infringement would not be enforced on anyone else making a coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic.
“We didn’t have to do that,” Afyan said. “We think it was the responsible thing to do.” He added: “We want it to help the world.”
The United Nations health agency has pressured Moderna to share its vaccine formula. Afyan said the company analyzed whether it would be better to share messenger RNA technology and determined it could expand production and deliver billions of additional doses in 2022.
“Within the next six to nine months, the most reliable way to make high-quality vaccines and in an efficient way is if we make them,” Afyan said. Asked about appeals from the World Health Organization and others, he said such arguments conceded that “we may not get enough capacity, but in fact we know we can.”
Moderna “went from zero production to 1 billion doses in less than a year,” Afian said, referring to the Massachusetts-based company’s sprint to develop the vaccine and produce it in large quantities. “And we think we’ll be able to go from 1 to 3 billion in 2022”.
The COVID-19 vaccine is Moderna’s only commercial product. The company last week announced plans to open a vaccine plant somewhere in Africa. Afyan said that he is hopeful that a decision on the exact location will be taken soon. Even so, it can take years to get the plant up and running.
Afyan spoke on the last day of his trip to Italy to meet with Pope Francis, who has called for universal vaccine access. He also appeared in Venice to promote the Humanitarian Award Initiative.
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