Right now, we don’t have enough vaccines. But in a few months, when we have a bigger supply, it’s possible not enough people will be willing to take the vaccines we have.
All of the executives stressed that they are looking for ways to increase production to meet the overwhelming demand from the largest global vaccination campaign in history.
“We understand the significant interest in Moderna’s vaccine, along with the vaccines and vaccine candidates of other companies,” said Moderna President Stephen Hoge. “We also understand how important it is that large quantities of every approved vaccine be produced rapidly…and that vaccines be made available widely, transparently, and equitably.”
President Joe Biden has pledged to administer 100 million doses in his first 100 days, a goal that advisers say is achievable by administering more than one million doses a day — a mark that the country has already exceeded. The administration should aim even higher, said Energy and Commerce ranking Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, calling on the White House to shoot for two million every day.
Biden has also said repeatedly that every American who wants to be vaccinated should be able to by July.
Vaccine makers also discussed the rising threat of different coronavirus strains such as B.1.315, the variant first found in South Africa that appears to be less susceptible to some vaccines.
Moderna is beginning trials with the National Institutes of Health for a booster shot aimed at that strain. Pfizer is in discussions with the FDA about clinical study designs to test updated versions of its own vaccine against emerging variants, Chief Business Officer John Young said.
Novavax, which just completed U.S. trial enrollment this week for its broad Phase III trial, “is already aggressively working on a strategy to provide the broadest coverage,” said John Trizzino, chief commercial and chief business officer. He added that the company’s technology and manufacturing process make it easy to edit and scale up modified vaccines.