The federal government struck a massive deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine currently in development, the latest in a series of deals with biotech companies through the Trump administration’s vaccine research initiative.
“Today’s investment represents the next step in supporting this vaccine candidate all the way from early development by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, through clinical trials, and now large-scale manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday.
HHS and the Department of Defense will provide up to about $1.5 billion to Moderna to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine to government-designated locations across the country. Moderna’s vaccine candidate entered its massive phase three clinical trial with roughly 30,000 volunteers to test for effectiveness and safety late last month.
“We appreciate the confidence of the U.S. government in our mRNA vaccine platform and the continued support,” said Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive officer. Bancel added that people could receive the vaccine itself at no cost, while healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine.
The government’s deal with Moderna is the latest in a series of multibillion-dollar investments in vaccine research as part of the Trump administration’s coronavirus research initiative Operation Warp Speed.