COVID-19 Vaccine Supply To China? Moderna CEO Says Capacity Available

Moderna Inc's MRNA CEO Stephane Bancel said the company has talked with the Chinese government about supplying COVID-19 vaccines, but no decision has been made, Reuters reported

"We are open, we have the capacity," Bancel said but declined to say whether Moderna had submitted its vaccine for approval in the country.

There is about a 20% probability that a "problematic" variant of the virus could emerge this winter, Bancel said, adding it was not his base case scenario.

Speaking in Tokyo, CEO Bancel said Moderna is mulling building a factory in Japan to produce its vaccines, Nikkei Asia reported.

Related: Europe Backs Approval Of Omicron-Adapted COVID-19 Vaccines.

He added that construction would start immediately if the Japanese government signed a long-term deal (say ten years). Location and other details remain undetermined.

Bancel said Moderna would like to build a plant in Japan, with centralized processes, including manufacturing, in one facility. The plant would be able to produce COVID, flu, and other vaccines, Bancel said.

The vaccine developed by Moderna for the omicron variant has already been approved in Japan. The bivalent vaccine, which is effective for both the conventional and the BA.1 omicron variant, will be available soon. Vaccines for BA.4 and BA.5, currently the most prevalent strains, are being prepared.

On Monday, Japan's regulatory authority approved Moderna's omicron-targeting bivalent COVID-19 booster for adults.

Price Action: MRNA shares are up 1.39% at $133.12 during the premarket session on the last check Wednesday.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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