Switzerland’s production capacity for Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is set to be doubled by the contract drug manufacturer Lonza as it looks to increase the total number of doses to three billion in 2022. The news was announced on Thursday.

Last week, the company stated that it will be launching a new small-molecule manufacturing complex at its Visp site, which will occupy 2000 m2 of the facility with six levels of manufacturing space. 

Lonza’s pact with Moderna will help the firm’s ingredient production and bottling capacity. As a result, Lona will be responsible of finding qualified workers to run the company’s growing network of facilities that will support the mRNA vaccine. 

It said, "Recruitment for the additional production lines has already commenced. The company has taken learnings from its previous ramp-up of Moderna drug substance production lines in Visp, and is confident that it can accelerate the operationalisation of the new facilities."

Previously, Moderna stated that due to "the trajectory of manufacturing ramp-up,” the deliveries in the second quarter will be delayed. This was expected as Lonza Chief Executive Pierre-Alain Ruffieux had acknowledged that it will take some time before the first three lines reach "cruising speed". 

The production lines built last year cost 70 million Swiss francs, with each requiring 60-70 employees to operate. Lonza has not stated the costs for the new extension. 

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