Moderna said Monday it got “positive feedback” from the Food and Drug Administration on its recommendation to expand the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses in every one of its vials.
One vial of Moderna’s two-shot vaccine contains ten dosages, enough to vaccinate five individuals, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNBC announced a month ago that Moderna had asked the FDA for permission to fill its Covid-19 vaccine vials with up to five extra doses to ease a bottleneck in manufacturing.
In prepared testimony submitted in front of a House hearing on Tuesday, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said the U.S. agency has given the organization “positive feedback on our proposal, and we are pursuing a plan that may allow up to 15 doses to be drawn from each vial.”
“This will allow us to produce and deliver more doses more quickly,” Hoge disclosed to House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations “We will continue to collaborate with our manufacturing partners and the federal government to increase the efficiency of our production process without compromising quality or safety.”
The disclosure comes as President Joe Biden is attempting to hurry up of inoculations in the U.S. after a slower-than-expected rollout under previous President Donald Trump, and states are complaining they need more doses.
Biden declared on Feb. 11 that his administration protected deals with Pfizer and Moderna for another 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the U.S. total to 600 million. Since both authorized vaccines require two dosages given around 3-4 weeks apart, a total of 600 million doses would be sufficient to vaccinate 300 million individuals. The Biden administration expects all of those does before the end of July.
It’s unclear if the increment of dosages per vial is the reason Moderna presently expects it can deliver 300 million doses before the end of July.
In December, the FDA said health-care providers could use additional doses from vials of Pfizer’s Covid-19 antibody. Those vials were said to contain five doses, yet a few suppliers had the option to extricate a 6th or even 7th dose. Like with Pfizer, a few suppliers have additionally been able to draw an additional dose of Moderna’s vaccine utilizing special syringes.