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Covax signs agreement with Moderna for 500 million doses of anticovid vaccine

Covax signs agreement with Moderna for 500 million doses of anticovid vaccine

"We are excited to sign this new agreement with Moderna, which gives Covax participants access to another highly effective vaccine," said Seth Berkley.
The Covax program, which favors the equitable distribution of vaccines, signed an agreement with Moderna to acquire 500 million doses of its anticovid vaccine, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) announced on Monday.

"We are very pleased to sign this new agreement with Moderna, which gives Covax participants access to another highly effective vaccine," said Seth Berkley, Gavi's CEO, in a statement.

The first doses of this messenger RNA vaccine should be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021, "with a total of 34 million available" this year and "up to 466 million doses in 2022, the note said.

The Moderna vaccine is generally given in two doses, although the new recommendations call for a single dose if the patient has recently had COVID.

The agreement also contains "options that eventually make it possible to obtain vaccine doses adapted to future variants," the Geneva-based organization said.

"Expanding and diversifying the portfolio has always been a key goal for Covax, and to remain flexible in the face of this ever-evolving pandemic - including the growing threat of new variants," Berkley said. This agreement with Moderna "is one more step in this direction," he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday granted its emergency homologation to Moderna's vaccine, a prerequisite for it to be integrated into the Covax system, which it established together with Gavi, and Cepi (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations).

The agreement is "an important step in our efforts to ensure that populations around the world have access to our COVID-19 vaccine," said Moderna chief Stéphane Bancel, acknowledging that "many countries have limited resources to access to vaccines".

In addition to Moderna, the WHO has already licensed the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, the two AstraZeneca sera manufactured in India and South Korea, and the one from Johnson & Johnson.

So far, Covax, whose main supplier remains AstraZeneca, has distributed more than 49 million vaccines in 121 countries and territories.

The vaccine developed by Moderna, a pioneering startup in anticovid vaccines, has characteristics similar to that developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, with 94.1% efficacy.
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