The US government has purchased 200million additional doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, bringing America’s total order up to 500million doses (Pictures: AP/AFP)
The US government has bought 200million more coronavirus vaccines produced by Moderna. The purchase announced on Wednesday brings America’s Moderna jab total to 500million doses, as the country previously bought 300million.
Moderna will supply 110million doses by the end of 2021 and the remaining 90million in the first quarter of 2022, the agreement states. The terms also allow the Biden administration to buy any other immunizations against Covid-19 that the biotechnology company is developing.
‘We appreciate the collaboration with the US government for these additional doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, which could be used for primary vaccination, including of children, or possibly as a booster if that becomes necessary to continue to defeat the pandemic,’ Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.
‘We remain focused on being proactive as the virus evolves by leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform to stay ahead of emerging variants.’
As of Monday, Moderna had delivered 217million doses of its vaccine to the US government.
The new purchase comes amid a significant slowdown in the vaccination rate in the US. An average of 3.3million Covid-19 shots were administered daily in early April but the average has dropped to 1.1million jabs daily.
It was not immediately known what the latest order of Moderna jabs will be used for. One theory is that they could replace a stockpile of coronavirus vaccines the US has that may have expiration dates coming up soon, according to the Daily Mail. Another theory is that they will be used when the Moderna shot is authorized for use on children.
The incoming Moderna vaccines could also be part of the 80million shots that President Joe Biden has committed to donating to the world.
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