(Reuters) -Moderna Inc said on Friday it aims to deliver one billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to low-income countries in 2022, in addition to the doses it has already committed to the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX.
These vaccines will be part of the 2-3 billion doses the company had forecast to produce next year.
“To date, more than 250 million people have been vaccinated globally with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. However, we recognize that access to vaccines continues to be a challenge in many parts of the world,” Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said in a letter posted on the company’s website.
Moderna on Thursday announced plans to invest up to $500 million to build a factory in Africa to make up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines each year, including its COVID-19 shot.
The company had committed in May to supply up to 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX facility from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2022.
“We are committed to doubling our manufacturing and expanding supply even further until our vaccine is no longer needed in low-income countries,” Bancel said.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Vinay Dwivedi)