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Moderna says booster shots likely needed in coming years, and reveals new data regarding vaccine storage

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— Moderna, Inc., the company behind one of the widely used COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., issued a Thursday news release stating that new data reveals its vaccine can remain stable at temperatures found in refrigerators for as long as three months. 

At present, the mRNA vaccine has approval to be stored in refrigerators between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 days and approval to be stored in the freezer up to seven months at minus 4 Fahrenheit, according to the company.

However, this new data appears to support a three-month refrigerated shelf life for the vaccine.

Should the Food and Drug Administration approve, the new storage temperature could “facilitate easier distribution to doctor’s offices and other smaller settings,” the company wrote in its Thursday press release.

The press release stated, "The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is also the only authorized mRNA vaccine that does not require on-site dilution. The Company also announced that it is working on formulations of mRNA-1273 and a next generation vaccine (mRNA-1283) that it believes will extend refrigerated shelf life even further."

The company added that data also reveals, booster shots will likely be needed throughout 2022 and 2023, and it is prepared to deliver the necessary doses.

The company stated, “Today we have announced that our investments in Europe, including Spain, France and Belgium, Switzerland, and the U.S. will allow us to deliver up to 3 billion doses in 2022, depending on the mix of product between primary series of vaccination and variant boosters.”

Moderna says it believes this investment in increased supply is necessary due to an expected significant need for booster vaccinations in 2022 and beyond.

In harmony with this need for an increase in supply, Moderna announced new funding commitments to increase supply at its owned and partnered manufacturing facilities, which it expects will increase global 2022 capacity to up to 3 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, depending upon the mix between the authorized Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at the 100 μg dose level and potentially lower doses of the Company’s variant booster candidates and pediatric vaccines, if authorized.

Moderna says it will use its cash balance to fund these investments, which will allow for a doubling of drug substance manufacturing at a Switzerland-based facility, a more than doubling of formulation, fill and finish and drug substance manufacturing at a Spain-based facility, as well as a 50% increase of drug substance at Moderna’s facilities in the U.S.

The news release went on to state, "When completed, the investments will also result in an increase in safety stock of raw materials and finished product used to deliver committed volumes. The Company will begin making investments at its owned and partnered manufacturing facilities in 2021, with increased production from these investments expected to ramp up in late 2021 and early 2022."

As of Thursday, Moderna raised its 2021 manufacturing supply forecast to between 800 million to 1 billion doses. 


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