The Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday that Moderna can put up to 50 percent more doses of vaccine in each vial, a change that will likely allow the company to speed up the pace of its shipments.
Moderna had been shipping 10-dose vials; the FDA’s decision allows the company to put up to 15 doses in each vial.
The agency also gave permission to vaccinators to extract 11 doses from existing 10-dose vials, depending on the availability of certain syringes and needles. Some pharmacies have already said that they have been able to eke extra doses from existing vials.
“Both of these revisions positively impact the supply of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, which will help provide more vaccine doses to communities and allow shots to get into arms more quickly,” FDA vaccine regulator Peter Marks said in a statement. “Ultimately, more vaccines getting to the public in a timely manner should help bring an end to the pandemic more rapidly.”