Covid-19 manufacturing roundup: Moderna inks deal for booster shots with Japan; Sputnik Light could be manufactured in Kazakhstan — report
Moderna, Takeda and the Japanese government have teamed up to distribute 50 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine — including a booster shot if it’s authorized — in 2022. That doubles the total vaccines signed on from 2021, bringing the number to 100 million doses for Japan.
Moderna is responsible for the manufacturing and supply of the jab, while Takeda is responsible for the import, regulatory, development and distribution activities.
“We thank the MHLW and Takeda for their support and for partnering with us to bring our mRNA Covid-19 vaccine to Japan,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a release. “We remain committed to making our vaccine available around the world as we seek to address the pandemic.”
Thursday, Moderna also announced a new supply agreement with Taiwan for another 20 million doses of its vaccine and variant booster shots. That delivery will begin in 2022, and the deal includes another 15 million doses in 2023.
Taiwan and Moderna already had a deal for 5 million doses to be delivered in 2021.
Sputnik Light could be manufactured in Kazakhstan — report
As Kazakhstan lags behind in its vaccination rollout, the country is looking into the possibility of manufacturing Russia’s Sputnik Light vaccine in-country, Reuters reported Monday.
The country has already produced doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, the double-jab version. It also has received imports from Russia. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his cabinet to investigate the possibilities of importing and producing domestic jabs. Just 15.5% of its population is fully vaccinated.
A review of Russia’s manufacturing process found issues with the vial filling procedures last month, the World Health Organization ruled. Sputnik V and Sputnik Light, the single-dose version, both await emergency use listing from the WHO after an October 2020 submission.
Lithuania, Norway make an even vaccine swap
Due to the concerns surrounding rare, but serious blood clots, Norway has opted out of using the J&J Covid-19 vaccine. So in order to keep its vaccination rollout on schedule, it’s agreed to trade 100,000 doses of the shot to Lithuania in exchange for the same number of Pfizer doses, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The trade comes as demand is high for the single-dose jab in Lithuania, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.
Norway’s vaccine rollout is going well: 75.4% of its residents above the age of 18 have received a first dose. Nearly 40% have received both doses.