WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The Trump administration has agreed to pay $1.5 billion for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna once it is approved, CNN reported Wednesday.
Moderna is one of several companies developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical trials are underway to see if the vaccine is safe and effective. Under the U.S. contract, the 100 million doses would be owned by the U.S. government and would be distributed and used as part of its COVID-19 vaccine campaign. If the doses are used, they would be provided to Americans for free, CNN reported. The government can also buy 400 million more doses if needed.
The vaccine was developed by Moderna, with help from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority supported clinical trials and helped scale up manufacturing. The contract is a part of the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed, designed to get vaccines and drugs to market as soon as safely possible. The government also has a deal with Pfizer to produce 100 million doses of its vaccine and a similar deal with Janssen, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine arm. The government also has deals with GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Novavax, and AstraZeneca.
"In creating a vaccine portfolio for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in an HHS news release, CNN reported. "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."