At the World Economic Forum, Moderna’s CEO said they are forced to throw away 30 million vaccines in the garbage because nobody wants them and that they have a big demand problem.
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Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, is lamenting about having to ‘throw away’ 30 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine because ‘nobody wants them.’
“It’s sad to say, I’m in the process of throwing 30 million doses in the garbage because nobody wants them. We have a big demand problem” Bancel told a World Economic Forum audience that efforts to contact various governments to see if anyone wanted to pick up the slack had failed miserably.
“We right now have governments – we tried to contact … through the embassies in Washington. Every country, and nobody wants to take them.”
“The issue in many countries is that people don’t want vaccines.”
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Bancel’s remarks came just days after Bloomberg reported that EU health officials want to alter contracts with Pfizer and other vaccine companies to decrease supply.
“We hope that the discussion with the commission and among member states will allow flexibility in the vaccine agreements,” writes Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski in a joint letter to the EU Commission. “We are also counting on vaccine producers to show understanding to the exceptional challenges that Poland is facing supporting Ukraine and giving shelter to millions of Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war.”
Some countries are seeking to amend so-called advanced purchase agreements signed with producers, as demand for shots wanes and budgets come under strain from the fallout of the war in Ukraine and the costs of accommodating refugees.
Adjusting deals with suppliers could grant member states the right to “re-phase, suspend or cancel altogether vaccine deliveries with short shelf life,” Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’s prime ministers wrote in a joint letter to Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen late last month.
In a separate letter, Bulgaria’s health ministry urged for a “open dialog” with the Commission and pharmaceutical companies, claiming that the current system forces member states to “purchase quantities of vaccines they don’t need.”