US govt invests nearly $2bn into COVID-19 vaccine
As part of President Trump's "Operation Warp Speed" initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services has ordered 300 million doses of the vaccine, which they hope to receive as early as October, officials say.
Clinical studies due to start this summer will involve around 30,000 US volunteers as part of the deal between AstraZeneca and the HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
There is no guarantee that the vaccine will work, and the Food and Drug Administration must sign off on the vaccine before it is made available.
The feds have ordered 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from British drugmaker AstraZeneca, officials said Thursday.
The company will get up to $1.2 billion from the US Department of Health and Human Services to speed the development and production of the vaccine with the goal of delivering the first doses as early as October, according to officials.
The deal between AstraZeneca and HHS's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority includes clinical studies that will start this summer with about 30,000 US volunteers, officials said.
But AstraZeneca acknowledged that the vaccine may not work as it's still being studied. The Food and Drug Administration must sign off on it before it's made available, the feds said.
President Trump's Operation Warp Speed aims to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available by January. "The Trump administration is making multiple major investments in developing and manufacturing promising vaccines long before they're approved so that a successful vaccine will reach the American people without a day wasted," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
Thanks to @HHSGov @SecAzar we’re proud to announce US commitments for @UniofOxford #COVID19 vaccine, as we are working on a number of agreements in parallel to ensure broad & equitable supply throughout the world at no profit during the pandemic. https://t.co/I1yPwrkASO pic.twitter.com/fYXtKRAWX1— AstraZeneca (@AstraZeneca) May 21, 2020
The vaccine is being developed by scientists at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca will also supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to the UK. The company is also in discussions with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organisation, along with other governments and potential partners for the fair allocation and distribution of the vaccine around the world.