KEY POINTS

  • Moderna said it is experiencing "short-term delays" in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine at its contractor Catalent
  • The biotech firm said the delays are expected to be resolved in the near term and shouldn't impact its delivery targets
  • Moderna said it is aiming to deliver 300 million doses by July

Moderna provided a supply update for its COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, revealing that some issues at its fill and finish contractor have delayed the release of some doses.

The biotechnology company said "short-term delays" in the final stages of production at Moderna’s contractor Catalent caused the lag, Reuters reported.

With its goal of delivering about 30 million to 35 million doses a month in February and March and 40 million to 50 million doses from April to July, Moderna has assured that the delays are expected to be resolved soon and should not impact its monthly delivery targets. The company added that it aims to deliver 300 million doses by July.

Moderna has, so far, supplied the U.S. government 45.4 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this month, the U.S. bought an additional 100 million vaccine doses from Moderna in its effort to fight supply constraints. This brings the total number of doses ordered from the biotech firm to 300 million.

Moderna reiterated that the short-term delays are no cause for concern as it is confident that it will meet its scheduled deliveries. The company said that it is set to deliver the first 100 million doses by the end of March and has moved forward delivery of its second 100 million doses by one month, from end of June to end of May.

Catalent has explained in an email statement that it is currently meeting all its production commitments, including Moderna's goal of 100 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The U.S. has successfully administered about 26.7 million doses of the two-dose Moderna vaccine to date, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, 33.2 million doses are at various stages of production and testing and are scheduled to be released shortly, Moderna said.

Winter storms have also affected the shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country. The recent delays in shipment are largely caused by poor road conditions and hazardous weather — requiring, in effect, hundreds of vaccination sites to close nationwide, Washington Post reported.

“Due to the severe winter weather currently impacting a large swath of the country, the U.S. government is projecting widespread delays in COVID-19 vaccine shipments and deliveries over the next few days,” Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the CDC, wrote in an email.

The US has started giving people the Pfizer and Moderna shots, but the 4.2 million people vaccinated so far are far below the official predictions of 20 million by the new year The U.S. has started giving people the Pfizer and Moderna shots. Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski