President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced that the U.S. government has signed a $1.5 billion deal to purchase 100 million doses of Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are investing in the development and manufacture of the top six vaccine candidates to ensure rapid delivery. 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 and we’re very close to that approval,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House.
Moderna said the deal for its vaccine, which is currently in late-stage human trials, will give the federal government the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses.
The U.S. has already invested $955 million to develop Moderna’s vaccine, bringing its total investment up to $2.48 billion, the company said in a press release Tuesday.
Through Operation Warp Speed — the Trump administration’s effort to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of coronavirus vaccines and treatments — the government has now purchased initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson 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,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a press release. “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.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services previously pledged $1.95 billion to Pfizer and biotech firm BioNTech to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine, with the option to purchase an additional 500 million doses. HHS then announced a $1 billion deal with Johnson & Johnson for 100 million doses of its vaccine, with the option for an additional 200 million, CNBC reported.