Argentina, Mexico to produce AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Henrietta Brewer
August 13, 2020

The US government on Tuesday announced it was buying 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Moderna, Inc. will manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine, mRNA-1273, while clinical trials are underway, according to a statement from the company.

Moderna's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is one of the few that have already advanced to the final stage of testing and is on track to be completed in September, the company said this month.

Moderna shares gained 8.5% to $74.80 in late trading in NY. Some deals also give the U.S. an option to buy additional doses.

Argentina's president flagged the agreement with Mexico and AstraZeneca, Britain's second-largest drugmaker, on Wednesday, noting that the initial supply is meant to reach all Latin America except Brazil.

"Securing this milestone is a testament to the commitment and partnership of the relevant authorities working together to conduct the largest possible number of medical tests and providing the necessary care for those infected, while simultaneously strengthening the UAE's cooperation with worldwide partners to develop a safe vaccine against the disease".

The UAE considers this to be a prominent step towards the first third phase experiments in the world of the COVID-19 vaccine and an affirmation of the importance of volunteer efforts.

The EU is using about 2 billion euros (US$2.4 billion) from an emergency fund to strike advance purchase deals with several vaccine makers in a bid to have enough shots for its population of 450 million. He also said that attempts would be made to contact the worldwide organisations like WHO, GAVI (an global alliance for vaccines) etcetera to project India as a country which cannot only produce vaccines for its huge population but for many other small and poor countries in the region.

Moderna's price per dose comes to about $30.50 per person for a two-dose regimen. Factoring in the nearly $1 billion the government previously gave Moderna to support development of mRNA-1273 brings the per dose price up to $25.

Varela said Phase III trials taking place in the United States, South Africa, England and Brazil were expected to conclude by November or December, after which the company would seek government approvals.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar noted that part of Operation Warp Speed is assembling a "broad portfolio" of vaccines to increase the odds the United States will have at least one effective COVID-19 preventative by year's end.

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