What Moderna should do
Moderna's vaccine saves lives. But Moderna needs to increase production.
Moderna is doing too little, too late - but the good news is they can do more.
The WHO and its partners, including the Africa CDC, are prepared to work with Moderna to build vaccine manufacturing capacity abroad. This would occur in parallel to Moderna's production, without disrupting their current operations. A 2023 plant in Africa is too little too late given that there are already companies capable of producing mRNA Covid vaccines in six countries on three continents.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is able to establish additional manufacturing capacity with the same contractors Moderna already uses to produce their vaccine. Moderna should communicate its willingness to partner in this way. Moderna's operations would not be affected, and the company would get additional royalties, but the world would get vaccines much sooner.
Make more ambitious commitments to low and lower-middle income countries
A couple million doses won't cut it when we need over 20 billion doses over the next year (full report).
Moderna is on the record stating they will deliver 1 billion doses to low income countries in 2022, despite only delivering 35 million in 2021. We're watching closely to see if they meet this commitment.
Our message is more powerful together. Moderna relies on us, the study participants, to generate the data necessary to show how well the vaccine works. This vaccine needs to work well for people in low and middle income countries, not just the wealthy.