The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna that it can begin adding up to 40 percent more of its COVID-19 vaccine formula into each of its vial shipments, sources tell The New York Times.
Officials will ask Moderna to submit additional data confirming the change in dosage amount won’t harm vaccine efficacy.
With this permission, the company will now be able to add 14 doses into each vial instead of the current 10.
Along with Pfizer, Moderna is the only company whose COVID-19 vaccine is approved for administration in the U.S. and was one of the first companies to receive federal funding under former President Trump’s Operation War Speed initiative.
A 14-dose vial could lead to increases in the U.S.’s overall vaccine supply by about 20 percent, reporters note.
This follows President Biden’s decision to purchase an additional 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine earlier this week. Per the company, Moderna has supplied 41 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. government.
“We appreciate the confidence that the U.S. government has demonstrated in our COVID-19 Vaccine,” Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said in a press release. “We continue to scale up our manufacturing capability, both in and outside of the United States. Our goal is to bring our vaccine to as many people as possible around the world to help end this pandemic. It is encouraging and humbling to know that more than 22 million Americans have already been protected with Moderna’s vaccine.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the multidose vial of Moderna currently contains 10 doses per vial, with a dosage amount of 0.5 milliliters.
Moderna had requested permission to increase the number of doses in its vials to around 15 ahead of its current 10 dose per vial figure.
Between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, more than 48 million vaccines have been administered in the U.S. While cases over the last months have been gradually declining, new, more contagious variants of COVID-19 have been reported in parts of the U.S., putting pressure on the vaccine rollout infrastructure to keep up.