Lead scientist in the Biden administration, focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, has sought to increase the pressure on Moderna, saying the pharmaceutical giant must ‘step up’ to deliver more of its Covid-19 vaccine to the world in the race urgently needed to get the pandemic under control.
“We expect Moderna to scale up as a business. We wait – we asked them, they need to grow as a business and join other companies, such as Pfizer, and provide COVAX (the global vaccine sharing program) with doses for AMC92 (the advanced market engagement for 92 low and middle income countries) at non-profit prices in substantial doses that will help close this gap, ”said the scientific director of the Maison’s Covid-19 response team Blanche, Dr. David Kessler at a panel with the Law and Political Economy Project on Immunization The World Wednesday.
He continued: “There is a very significant additional capacity at Moderna that has been invested. Now the question is to make this commitment at a not-for-profit price and in substantial quantities, because not to do so would be unreasonable, in my opinion. “
Kessler said the administration had met with several executives at Moderna “in recent days” about the matter.
“We cannot wait. We don’t have months to wait. I think we asked the question, we met, I’m saying it here, we met Moderna board members, not just the CEO, we met the Moderna chairman, members of the board of administration in recent days. They understand what we expect, ”he said.
The US government, he said, “hasn’t made a decision yet on, you know, what it will do, based on the response, but we’re waiting for the response… but I can assure you that There is full determination on everyone in the administration to bring the doses to low and middle income countries as soon as possible.
He praised Pfizer for its “record” and said he had “no doubt” the company would meet its own commitments to share vaccines globally at cost.
But he was much less confident in Moderna, adding, “Moderna can speak for itself. We had very, very intense discussions with Moderna.
Pressed by the panel moderator on why the administration isn’t exerting more influence over Moderna, Kessler warned: “I think these companies understand our authorities and understand that we wouldn’t be afraid to use them. . But the best recourse right now is for them to step up now and make sure they provide COVAX at nonprofit prices as a substantial base to close that gap.
Kessler pointed to a “specific request” from the US government to do so and said, “They understand our authorities”.