Moderna delays COVID vaccine deliveries to EU by several months

1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Illustration of COVID-19 vaccine vial

(Reuters) -Moderna Inc said on Thursday it has agreed to push back some COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the European Union by several months to later in 2022 or early next year.

Shares of Moderna fell nearly 2% before the bell over the delay, even though the company stuck to its vaccine sales forecast of $21 billion for 2022.

Delivery of the doses were originally planned in the second quarter, the European Commission said in a statement.

The bloc had also tweaked agreements with Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE in April to delay vaccine deliveries by three months as it gears up for a potential booster campaign in the fall.

The region has also seen a drop in demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

The agreement helps “optimise supply arrangements and align them with current demand levels in our Member States”, said Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

Switzerland health officials said last week that the country will destroy more than 620,000 expired doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine as demand for the shots drops dramatically.

Under the amended agreement with Moderna, EU countries will also get access to a next-generation vaccine targeted at both the Omicron variant and the original strain, if it is approved.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)