Moderna shares continued to tumble after two of the world’s most critical supranational bodies representing low- and middle-income countries have decided not to purchase hundreds of millions of additional doses of the company’s vaccine as a result of waning demand, Zero Hedge reported.
Moderna stock hit as high as $497 a share in August of 2021, the stock is trading in the $150 range, in recent months
The African Union and Covax, the Bill Gates and WHO-backed group dedicated to spreading (low cost) vaccines across the world, made the decision to pass on buying more jabs (while the US rolls out a second booster for older patients) as developing nations struggle to find enough customers eager to be inoculated, Bloomberg noted.
According to Bloomberg, developing nations have struggled to turn supplies into inoculations. Lower-income countries left behind in the global rollout are now grappling with a lack of funds, hesitancy, supply-chain obstacles and other factors that are hampering distribution.
But outside of China and Hong Kong, COVID cases, deaths and hospitalizations have waned dramatically. This in turn has undermined demand.
What’s more, after more than a year of getting the short end of the stick from Western vaccine makers, developing nations have become resentful, as more consumers take the view that, if they have made it this far without the jabs, then they certainly don’t need them now.
“The vaccine landscape has changed drastically in recent months,” said Safura Abdool Karim, a public-health lawyer and researcher in Johannesburg who’s focused on equity in the pandemic. “We went from really needing vaccines super urgently to now having them.”
While the African Union agreed to purchase 50 million doses during Q1, the organization opted not to acquire another 60 million doses in the second quarter.
Covax, meanwhile, opted not to buy 166 million doses for delivery in Q3, and also turned down another alternative for 166 million doses in Q4. Although a spokesperson for the organization said talks for another round of purchases have continued to drag on.