Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 2.5 million

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel attends the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York in December 2019.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel attends the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York in December 2019. Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Moderna’s current vaccine production numbers “are far from indicative” of future production, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said during an EU virtual summit Thursday. 

“The numbers we are producing today are far from indicative of what we can produce in the future,” Bancel said. “We expect that the additional capacity investment, which we announced yesterday to drive to up to 1.4 billion doses in 2022 will be helpful.”

Bancel noted that some of the delays in Moderna’s vaccine delivery are due to the company not having a stockpile of the vaccines, as they attempt to get every dose shipped to its destination country as quickly as possible. 

“In the pandemic every dose is crucial, and we want that dose not to be in a factory or warehouse, but to be in somebody’s arm,” Bancel said. “So, the doses we make are shipped right away. We have no inventory, which means that any minor setback like a broken pump, or simple human mistake by one other operator can mean less doses produced that hour.”

“European supply is one of Moderna’s biggest commitments to date. With this in mind we are constantly refining our processes in manufacturing, finding new efficiencies, and we continue to improve our speed. I am dedicated, as is my team, to delivering on this increasing the delivery commitment,” Bancel said.

Bancel added that just yesterday, Moderna shipped the first phases of a trial product – aimed at combatting the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa – to the US National Institutes of Health.

“As you all know, this is a variant of concern,” Bancel said. “So we’re very proud that this product has been shipped to start clinical trial very soon in humans.”

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