'Constructive' White House talks on vaccine donations: Moderna

Politico reported that the U.S. government has urged Moderna to increase its vaccine production to boost donations to countries in need but the company is hesitating for fear it would be paid less for the shots it contributes.

Speaking to Reuters in an interview, Afeyan said the company and White House had "common" interests "to get as many vaccines as possible next year to low-income countries" and that the notion Moderna was not ramping up production to do so was inconsistent with "simple arithmetic."

The company said last week that it aimed to deliver 1 billion doses to low-income countries in 2022, in addition to the doses it has already committed to the global vaccine-sharing program COVAX.

These vaccines will be part of the 2 to 3 billion doses the company has forecast to produce next year.

"The (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries have a need for a billion doses. The only way the other two billion doses could be used is to be used in low- to middle-income countries," he said.

The focus now was on the mechanism for doing that, whether through COVAX or direct bilateral agreements, for example with the African Union or other constituencies.

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