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Moderna and Pfizer Enhance Worldwide Vaccine Supply

If the licence holders of two licenced mRNA vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—wish to enhance the worldwide supply of these vaccines, 55 pharmaceutical manufacturing businesses from India may be able to meet the technical criteria and quality standards needed to create mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. According to a note released on December 10 by the tricontinental research group ‘AccessIBSA’ and medical NGO Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF), 120 companies from Asia, Africa, and Latin America can be considered capable of manufacturing mRNA vaccines if licence holders are willing to offer full technology transfer.

The organisations underline that their argument is based on a working model rather than a theoretical possibility. “MRNA vaccines can be made by a far greater number of existing pharmaceutical manufacturers, even if these manufacturers have no prior expertise with vaccinations, due to the unique nature of mRNA technology and its lack of cell-based, biological components.”

This is not a theoretical assumption; it is the working approach that Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have used to successfully scale up their production by partnering with other contract manufacturers, according to the report. They used this criterion, together with a severe quality filter, to find production facilities that may be used to make mRNA vaccines.

Almost every major Indian pharmaceutical business is represented on the list, including Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s, Sun Pharma, and Biocon. The writers, on the other hand, claim to have only contacted one Indian company on the list, Biocon, for input. The civil society organisations conducted a baseline scan on pharmaceutical companies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to identify companies that manufactured sterile injectables.

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