Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) has agreed to provide its new variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine to the global scheme aiming to deliver shots to the world's poorest people.
The biotech company and vaccine alliance GAVI will cancel their existing supply deal for vaccines based on the original coronavirus strain. Instead, Moderna will supply up to 100 million doses of its new, variant-adapted vaccines at its lowest available price from 2023.
GAVI leads the COVAX initiative alongside the World Health Organization and other global bodies. The scheme has delivered 1.79 billion doses of COVID vaccine to 146 countries, including nearly 186 million doses of Moderna's original shot.
While at first the initiative struggled for shots as wealthy countries snapped up limited supply, this year it has had a glut of the original vaccines, prompting negotiations to try to better align supply with demand.
Moderna's bivalent COVID vaccine, containing both the original coronavirus strain and the BA.1 Omicron variant, has had approval from regulators worldwide.
GAVI chief executive Seth Berkley said the new agreement was a "critical step for equitable access" to allow lower income countries to use the modified vaccines as they see fit.
Many wealthier countries have started using the vaccine in booster campaigns.
Negotiations with other vaccine manufacturers to adjust supply agreements are going on, GAVI said.