Moderna, AstraZeneca Involved in COVID Vaccine Donation Program

Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) will supply 34 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine this year and Sweden has donated one million AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZ) shots to the global COVAX program, a small boost as it struggles to get stocks to inoculate the world’s poorest people.

The advance purchase contract agreed with Moderna is for up to 500 million doses, but the rollout will only start in the fourth quarter, with 34 million doses available this year, the GAVI vaccine alliance said on Monday.

The bulk — 466 million — would only become available next year, it said.

The deal expands the program’s pipeline of vaccines to eight and contains options to potentially access doses of variant-adapted vaccines in the future, it said.

The agreement follows the U.S. drugmaker’s shot being approved for emergency use listing by the WHO on Friday, a prerequisite for COVAX eligibility.

GAVI runs the COVAX vaccine sharing facility with the World Health Organization.

The Swedish donation is the second by a European Union member after France last month amid mounting concerns about growing inequity in vaccine distribution after wealthy countries built up stocks of shots for its citizens.

The EU also wants the bloc to regain the initiative in vaccine diplomacy from Russia and China.

Sweden paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March after reports of rare, but serious, blood clots among people who had received that shot. It later resumed the use of the shot, but only for people aged 65 or above.

MRNA shares zoomed $9.17, or 5.1%, to $187.99, while those for AZ took on 17 cents to $53.24.