According to three persons with direct knowledge of the situation, vaccine producer Moderna is rejecting efforts from the White House to increase overseas contributions of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2022.
Is It All About Money?
For ages, the Biden government has pressed Moderna to raise its domestic production in order to assist the president in fulfilling his promise to make the United States “an armory of vaccinations” for the rest of the world.
The White House sent massive amounts of Moderna dosages to countries around the world. Despite agreeing to deliver 500 million doses to low and middle nations (including 34 million shots this year, via the worldwide vaccination aid program known as COVAX Facility) the business is pushing for more.
Moderna, which created its shot with governmental technical and financial assistance, has flinched away from making further promises, according to the two people. Concerns regarding the firm’s ability to balance domestic and foreign duties have been raised.
Finland has announced they are now stopping Moderna in people aged under 30.
This follows Sweden who suspended the use of Moderna in people under 30 and Denmark who stopped it in people under 18.
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) October 7, 2021
However, federal authorities secretly think the unwillingness stems in part from money issues; if Moderna decided to sell the Biden government doses to poorer nations, it would almost certainly be asked to do so at a cost, exerting pressure on the company’s bottom line.
Top Biden health authorities have been irritated by the firm’s stance; they prodded Moderna officials in meetings that one source described as “quite aggressive.”
The national government’s discussions with Moderna may jeopardize the Biden government’s ambitions to ship more dosages overseas, as it prepares to administer vaccinations to Americans.
“We want them to step it up and drastically raise the number of treatments they send to lower and medium nations in the immediate future,” a senior government official added.
No Comment from the White House
On the air, the White House refused to respond. Moderna has yet to reply to a request for information on the financially motivated claims.
I am just pleased these vaccines are safe and have been thoroughly tested before being rolled out across the world.
Nothing to see here. We can trust the experts. https://t.co/pTMthIMily
— CoryBernardi.com.au (@corybernardi) October 7, 2021
However, despite the continued tensions, the business said early Thursday that it will construct an influenza vaccination hub in Africa. This hub will be capable of producing up to 500 million doses per year. Nevertheless, it has not identified a location or established a date for the facility’s inauguration.
“We feel it is necessary to invest in the future,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a release. “We are still striving to enhance capacity in our present network to distribute vaccines for the continuing pandemic in 2022.”
The Biden government’s tense negotiations with Moderna contrast sharply with its dealings with Pfizer and BioNTech. The collaborators declined government funding to create the COVID-19 vaccine, but have collaborated to raise global immunization rates.
In September, the two corporations agreed to supply one billion dosages of their COVID vaccinations for global distribution by the end of September 2022.