FACT CHECK: Did Moderna’s CEO State The Company Manufactured 100,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In 2019?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Moderna’s CEO Stephen Bancel stated the company manufactured 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2019.

Verdict: False

Bancel was referring to all vaccine doses manufactured in 2019, not COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Fact Check:

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was detected in China in December 2019, though there are some reports that the virus started to circulate in November 2019, according to the Los Angeles Times. Advisors for the Food and Drug Administration expressed disappointment after booster shot data was not presented last year, CNN reported.

The Facebook video claims that Bancel stated that the pharmaceutical company manufactured 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2019. (RELATED: Did Karine Jean-Pierre Leave A Press Conference After Being Asked About Classified Documents?)

The claim that Bancel said the company manufactured 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses is false. During a Davos Jan. 18 forum, Bancel was asked about the company’s ability to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine doses.

“When the pandemic happened, Moderna had made 100,000 dose in 2019 for the whole year. And I remember walking after Davos into the office of my head of manufacturing and I say ‘how we make a billion dose next year?’ And he look at me a bit funny and say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘yeah, we have to make a billion doses next year, there is going to be a pandemic,” Bancel said.

The quote is taken out of context. A Moderna spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email that the “claims are not accurate” and that Bancel was referring to “100K doses across our portfolio – rare diseases, cancer, etc.,” not the amount of COVID-19 vaccines produced during the year.

Moderna had at least four vaccines in clinical trials in 2019, according to various press releases. Moderna previously stated in 2021 it would manufacture up to one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to Stat News. There are no credible news reports suggesting their COVID-19 vaccine was being manufactured before the pandemic was declared.

This is not the first time misinformation about Moderna has circulated on social media. Check Your Fact previously reported that the company was developing a COVID-19 vaccine in January 2020.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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