If all goes according to its revised plan, Moderna ( MRNA 3.14% ) will have far more doses of its coronavirus vaccine on the market than formerly anticipated. The company announced Monday that it is lifting its base-case estimate for global production of mRNA-1273 in 2021 to 600 million doses from the previous forecast of 500 million.
Ideally, it will produce as many as 1 billion for the year. It is currently adding staff in order to reach such capacity.
Among other factors, Moderna is basing its new estimate on the initial rollouts of the coronavirus vaccine throughout North America.
"Our effectiveness in providing early supply to the U.S. and Canadian governments and our ability to increase baseline production estimates for 2021 are both signals that our scale up of mRNA vaccine production is a success," Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer Juan Andres said.
mRNA-1273 is the second coronavirus vaccine to receive emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It and the first one, Pfizer and BioNTech's BNT162b2, are currently being distributed and administered in the country.
Attempting to cope with a still-worsening coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. government has contracted with Moderna for 200 million doses of mRNA-1273. The company believes it will have 100 million doses available in the country by the end of this current quarter. Roughly 18 million doses have been supplied to the government so far.
Moderna's update is good news both for the company and for this country, as widespread vaccination is needed as soon as possible. The company's stock rose by just under 7% on Monday, against the 1.5% decline of the S&P 500 index.