Letter from Stéphane Bancel
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Moderna was an R&D-focused company that had yet to commercialize a product. But we believed our messenger RNA (mRNA) technology could make a difference, and within a very short time, we were able to advance our technology from the realm of scientific possibility, to authorized product and commercial production at unprecedented speed and scale. I want to thank our employees, our partners and the participants in our clinical trials who have been the heroes of our fight to end this pandemic.
From the beginning our goal has been to help protect as many people as possible around the globe. To date, more than 250 million people have been vaccinated globally with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. However, we recognize that access to vaccines continues to be a challenge in many parts of the world. So, we remain focused on implementing a comprehensive and always evolving strategy to ensure that low-income countries get access to our vaccine. Our strategy now has five pillars:
First, to support global access of vaccines, in October 2020 and before we had our Phase 3 data, we announced that we would not enforce our COVID-19 related patents during the pandemic. As a small company, we are still limited in our capacity to help and focused on scaling our manufacturing, but we never wanted our patents to be a barrier to others bringing forward mRNA vaccines.
Second, we committed to support the COVAX Facility for low-income countries, announcing an agreement in May 2021 to supply up to 500 million doses of our COVID-19 vaccine from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2022.
Third, we have worked closely with the U.S. Government and others that have purchased more vaccine than they need today to facilitate donation through COVAX or bilaterally, providing the regulatory, supply chain and pharmacovigilance support necessary to allow more than 50 million doses of our vaccine to be distributed by COVAX through September 2021.
Fourth, yesterday, we announced our plan to build a state-of-the-art mRNA facility in Africa with the goal of producing up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year. While this will take longer to deliver, we believe we must start to extend Moderna’s impact in Africa by equipping the continent with our technology.
Fifth, we are currently investing to expand our capacity to deliver another 1 billion doses to low-income countries in 2022, out of a total targeted capacity of between 2 billion to 3 billion doses for 2022. Given that fewer than 1 billion people live in OECD countries, this was done solely to provide more doses to low-income countries.
A year ago, we had the ambitious goal of producing up to 1 billion doses at our own facility, supplemented by partnerships. We had a lot to prove to ourselves and others, and few might have predicted how far we have come today. But we recognize that our work is not done. We are committed to doubling our manufacturing and expanding supply even further until our vaccine is no longer needed in low-income countries. Our responsibility during the pandemic is to push ourselves to our limits to expand availability of our vaccine, and to make investments in the future to prevent the limitations we face today from such a pandemic ever happening again.
We believe our strategy is comprehensive, but if more is needed and we are unable to deliver more without undermining our current commitments, we will continue to add pillars to our strategy until this pandemic is over for all.
Chief Executive Officer