Moderna is seeking permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to increase the amount of vaccine sealed within each vial in the hopes of relieving some pressure on the manufacturing and distribution process, according to a report from CNBC.
An anonymous source told the news outlet that the change would allow Moderna to store 15 doses of the vaccine per vial, five more than the 10 that are currently packaged. The source told CNBC that the additional doses included in the vials would alleviate the bottleneck on part of the manufacturing process called “fill/finish.”
The source asked to remain anonymous because the application to the FDA has not yet been made public.
The Hill has reached out to Moderna and the FDA for confirmation.
The news comes as the United States has experienced a problem with the vaccine distribution process and localities have had to cancel thousands of appoints due to a dearth of vaccine allocations. President Biden’s administration has set the goal of administering at least 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines in its first 100 days. CNBC notes that daily administration rates have risen above 1 million per day.
Pfizer has also recently made a request to change the number of doses per vial after it was discovered that an extra sixth dose could be taken from their vials with the use of a specific syringe, according to CNBC. The request was approved with the company saying it would deliver fewer vials, but the same number of doses to the U.S.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a little more than 15 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the U.S. so far. In addition, 17.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved for emergency use in the U.S., have been administered.