What would need to happen for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to increase?

(Dakota news now)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WHSV) — During the distribution of the various COVID-19 vaccines, it has become clear that the demand is exceeding supply.

What exactly would it take for vaccine production to increase?

“One thing that will help with the supply of vaccine, is that now we have three vaccines of course instead of two,” the University of Virginia’s Dr. William Petri explained. “The companies are getting better at making vaccines. This is a new thing as well especially, the mRNA vaccines. What they have found when making the vaccine — they are finding better ways to do it.”

Dr. Petri says speeding up how the vaccine is placed in the vial and creating the vaccine itself more efficiently are just a few ways the process has improved.

Moderna announced, with the help of Baxter BioPharma Solutions, they expect to manufacture 60-90 million doses of their vaccine this year.

“The manufacturing of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will take place at the BioPharma Solutions fill/finish sterile manufacturing facilities located in Bloomington, Ind. The site has capabilities and expertise in parenteral delivery systems and clinical and commercial vaccine manufacturing, including preventive and seasonal vaccines for global markets,” the company stated in a press release about the agreement.

President Biden has pushed a timeline for May of this year for when every adult may be eligible for a vaccine.

“I think May 1 is really realistic for every adult to be eligible for the vaccine,” Dr. Petri explained.

Dr. Petri says next month, Pfizer will go from producing 20 million doses a month to 52 million.

“Incredible cooperation among the companies. Merck for example, is stepping in to help produce the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” Dr. Petri explained. “Merck was very disappointed because their vaccine failed, but they are willing to jump in and make the Johnson and Johnson [vaccine], which is unheard of.”

You can pre-register for your COVID vaccine in Virginia by clicking here.

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