President Trump announced the deal during a news conference Tuesday.
Moderna is one of the few companies that produces the vaccine “at risk”, as the industry calls it, meaning the company is currently making the vaccine before it is approved. Clinical trials are now being conducted to test whether it is safe and effective.
Under the contract, worth up to $ 1.525 billion per 100 million doses, the dose would be owned by the U.S. government and distributed and used as part of its Covid-19 vaccine campaign. If doses were used, they would be given to Americans at no cost. The government could also receive up to 400 million additional doses of this vaccine, HHS said.
The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, was developed by Moderna in collaboration with the US government. There was development assistance from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the U.S. Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority, known as BARDA, supported clinical trials at the late stage and helped scale production. The state-of-the-art advanced clinical trial, which began July 27, is the first government-funded Phase 3 clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States.
This contract is part of Operation Warp Speed, the federal push to get vaccines and therapies on the market as soon as possible. HHS said the goal is to get effective vaccines for the American people by the end of the year.
The government also reached an agreement with Pfizer in July to produce 100 million doses of its vaccine. In August a similar 100 million dose deal was reached with Janssen, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arm, for its vaccine candidate. There are other deals with GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Novavax and AstraZeneca.
There are 28 Covid-19 vaccines in human trials, according to the World Health Organization.
“In creating a vaccine portfolio for Speed Operation Warp, the Trump administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe and effective vaccine by 2021,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a news release. of Tuesday. “Today’s investment represents the next step in supporting this vaccine candidate during early development by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, through clinical trials, and now large-scale production, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses. for the American people. “