US government strikes deal with Moderna for 100M coronavirus vaccine doses

The deal is valued at up to $1.5 billion

President Trump announced a deal on Tuesday between the U.S. government and biotechnology company Moderna for 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

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“We are investing in the development and manufacture of the top six vaccine candidates to ensure rapid delivery,” Trump said. “The military is ready to go, they’re ready to deliver a vaccine to Americans as soon as one is fully approved by the FDA.”

In a press release on Tuesday, Moderna said the deal is valued at up to $1.5 billion, and gives the government the option to buy another 400 million doses.

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Moderna said the vaccine will be cost-free, although health care professionals may charge people to administer it.

“For Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a broad portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “With this latest investment, we will have supported the vaccine candidate developed by Moderna in partnership with the NIH all the way from early development through clinical trials and now manufacturing, with the potential to bring millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

The company’s stock rose more than 11 percent in after-hours trading following the news.

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In total, the government has invested around $2.4 billion in commitments for early access to the vaccine.

A phase 3 study of the vaccine began at the end of July.

Trump added that the White House has recently secured partnerships with Johnson and Johnson and Sanofi to support large-scale manufacturing of their vaccines.

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