A potential coronavirus vaccine
(Getty)

  • The US government is buying 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, it was announced Tuesday.
  • Under the agreement, pharmaceutical company Moderna will manufacture the vaccine even as clinical trials are underway.
  • The deal is worth up to $1.5 billion (more than R26 billion). It also permits the US to obtain another 400 million doses.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The US government has agreed to pay up to $1.5 billion (more than R26 billion) to obtain 100 million doses of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine, its Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

Under the deal, pharmaceutical company Moderna will manufacture the doses as it conducts clinical trials, which are expected to produce results as early as October.

"Manufacturing in parallel with clinical trials expedites the traditional vaccine development timeline," the HHS said in a press release.

The vaccine has been co-developed by Moderna and the US government's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"We appreciate the confidence of the US government in our mRNA vaccine platform and the continued support," Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release.

The deal is one of several that have been announced with vaccine manufacturers. As CNBC reported, the US has offered up to $2.1 billion (R37 billion) for a vaccine being developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline; another $1.95 billion (R34 billion) to Pfizer and BioNTech; and another $1 billion (R17.5 billion) to Johnson & Johnson.

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