Moderna beefs up COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing for 2021-22

Coronavirus

Workers unload a shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the FedEx hub in Toronto, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Moderna announced Thursday it is beefing up global manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to produce up to 3 billion doses in 2022.

The company predicts supplying between 800 million and 1 billion doses worldwide this year. But it’s looking ahead as much of the world still will need a first round of COVID-19 vaccinations next year — and to be ready if and when people may need a booster shot.

Moderna’s vaccine is authorized for use by adults in the U.S., European Union and multiple other countries. The company expects data soon from a U.S. study of the two-dose vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds, and has begun testing the shots in younger children.

Also underway are studies of doses tweaked to better match a worrisome mutated version of the coronavirus.

In mid March, the Biden administration planned on sending a combined 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada in its first export of shots.

Press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is in the process of finalizing efforts to distribute 2.5 million doses to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada as a “loan.”

Tens of millions of doses have been stockpiled in the U.S. awaiting authorization, sparking an international outcry that lifesaving doses are being withheld when they could be used elsewhere.

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