According to the FDA, Moderna can fill its vials with 40% more COVID-19 vaccine to increase the number of doses from 10 to 14 and eliminate production bottlenecks
- FDA regulators told Moderna that they can fill their vials with 40% more vaccine on Friday
- It comes after Moderna asked regulators to allow more overfilling to remove production bottlenecks caused by limited vials being able to be filled at a time
- Vials used to hold 10 doses, but now contain up to 14
- Pfizer received FDA approval to label its vials for six doses instead of five vaccines. An overdose worth an additional dose was found
- More doses in Moderna’s vial could increase US supply by about 20%
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow Moderna to fill vials with 40 percent more coronavirus vaccine, according to the New York Times.
People familiar with the company told the point of sale that FDA regulators had told Moderna they could fill their vials with up to 14 doses instead of 10 doses on Friday.
It’s a postponement that Moderna requested last month to remove production bottlenecks.
“In addition to the amount of medicine available, a potential capacity limitation is how many vials can be filled in a given period of time,” a senior spokesman previously told the Times.
Moderna’s vaccine doses account for just over half of the U.S. supply, which means green light for filling vials with additional doses could increase the amount of vaccine available by about 20 percent.
The FDA told Moderna on Friday that the company would fill its vials of coronavirus vaccines with 14 doses instead of 10, according to the New York Times. The change could be made in just two or three weeks
However, Moderna needs to show that its trapping technique doesn’t affect the quality of the shot, according to the Times.
Glass shortages were not addressed as an immediate concern for either Moderna or Pfizer, but even before the vaccines were approved, experts warned that the world was already facing a stretched offer.
Putting more vaccine in each vial could also help solve this problem in the supply chain.
The US has also exercised its options to buy an additional 100 million doses of vaccine from each Moderna and Pfizer on Thursday, bringing the national total to 600 million.
This is a critical milestone because it is enough to vaccinate virtually any American with two doses.
But it brings enormous production for the two companies, which also have contacts with other nations.
Pfizer ran into supply chain issues in December and was forced to cut its global sales promise in half for late 2020.
The FDA’s permission to label their vials for six instead of five doses due to overfilling allowed Pfizer to meet its goal of making 100 million doses available to the US by the end of the year – barely.
Now, Pfizer said, it is ahead of schedule to make 200 million doses available to the US by May instead of the original June target date.
Moderna has announced that it will sell 200 million cans by June.
But every company is working flat out to meet the unprecedented demand for vaccines.
Creative solutions that make it easier for Moderna and Pfizer to produce more vaccines, faster, are therefore welcome.
Switching to 14 doses can be done quickly as the size of the vials does not need to be adjusted.
In a statement shared with The Times, Moderna said she believed she could make the change within two to three weeks.