(Adds details on supply target)
Feb 16 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc said on Tuesday the release of some of its COVID-19 vaccine doses to the U.S. government have lagged recently because of “short-term delays” in the final stages of production at its contractor Catalent Inc .
The delays are expected to be resolved soon and will not impact monthly delivery targets, the company said, adding it was aiming to deliver 300 million doses by the end of July, instead of September end.
Moderna expects to deliver an average of 30 million to 35 million doses a month in February and March and 40 million to 50 million doses every month from April to July end.
The United States, which is fighting supply constraints in its large-scale efforts to vaccinate its population, earlier this month bought an additional 100 million vaccine doses from Moderna, taking the total ordered doses to 300 million.
The biotech firm reiterated it was on track to deliver the first batch of 100 million doses by the end of March and was moving forward the supply target for the second batch by a month to May end.
Meanwhile, Catalent said in an email statement it is meeting all its vaccine production commitments, including Moderna’s goal of 100-million doses by the end of March. The firm signed an agreement last year to help fill and package vials with Moderna vaccine.
The U.S. government has so far administered about 25.5 million doses of the two-dose vaccine, with 45.4 million doses supplied, Moderna said.
An additional 33.2 million doses have been filled in vials and are at various stages of final production and testing before release to the U.S. government, the company said.
Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur