Moderna, EU officials delay COVID-19 vaccine deliveries as demand falls

Moderna won’t be delivering COVID-19 vaccine boosters to the European Commission on the timeline as originally expected as officials adapt to changing vaccination needs in the region.

The company reached a deal with European officials to amend their original supply agreement, pushing the delivery of boosters scheduled for the second quarter to later in 2022 or early 2023. The agreement also covers future boosters and vaccines that target specific variants.

The prior version of the supply deal came last February, when Moderna agreed to sell 150 million doses to Europe. The deal featured an option to deliver another 150 million during 2022.

The new agreement aligns with current demand levels in the commission’s member states, Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety, said in a statement.

More than two years into the pandemic, vaccine makers have produced billions of vaccine doses in Europe and exported many to low- and middle-income countries. In Europe, many countries have seen a drop in demand lately.

The amendment comes after EU health officials had a meeting last month to discuss a renegotiation of vaccine contracts amid declining demand. Separately, the health ministry of Bulgaria, the country with the EU’s lowest vaccination rate, asked for an “open dialog” with the commission and pharmaceutical companies. 

In May, the commission reached a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech to delay delivery schedules.

Moderna produced more than 800 million doses last year. The company is projecting $21 billion in revenues from the vaccine this year.