Merck has reaffirmed its commitment to enable broad equitable access to the company’s HPV vaccines. To support this, the company has invested in manufacturing, and recently expanded its vaccines manufacturing facility located in Elkton, VA, completing the construction of 120,000 square feet and adding 150 new jobs at the site to further increase capacity and supply of the company’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, following regulatory reviews and approvals.
“As we continue to increase production of our HPV vaccines, we are prioritising access in countries with a high burden of disease, including countries eligible for support from Gavi and UNICEF. Through our long-term agreement with UNICEF, we plan to provide 91.5 million doses of our HPV vaccines for use in Gavi-supported countries from 2021-2025, and we have offered additional doses beyond that agreement as needed to help meet growing demand,” said Dr Priya Agrawal, Global Lead, HPV Vaccines, Merck, in a statement released by the company.
“Increasing supply of our HPV vaccines is a top priority, and, over the last several years, we have steadily increased our manufacturing capacity in response to growing global demand. Despite the pandemic, our teams have completed the building infrastructure expansion at our Elkton site ahead of schedule and we are excited to reach this important milestone,” said Jacks Lee, Senior Vice President, Merck Manufacturing.
The statement further said that in 2019, Merck committed more than $1 billion to expand production capacity at the existing manufacturing facilities and build new facilities to address the unprecedented global demand for its HPV vaccines. Merck has expanded and maximised its existing facilities, nearly doubling supply of its HPV vaccines from 2017-2020, and has continued to increase supply over the last several years.
Merck expects supply of its HPV vaccines to double again between 2020-2023 as the company continues to expand capacity at the existing facilities, and as new facilities come online, the statement concluded.