Health

Moderna says it is on track to deliver the US 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by March

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Moderna Inc says it is on track to deliver the U.S. 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by March and 200 million doses by June.

That will be enough to immunize 100 million people – about one-third of the country’s population – with the two-shot regimen. 

In a press release on Tuesday, the biotechnology company says it has supplied the federal government with 30.4 million doses to date.

What’s more, the firm says it is continuing to invest and add staff in the hopes of producing one billion doses by year’s end.

It comes as President Joe Biden said he expects U.S. will soon be able to vaccinate 1.5 million people per day, 500,000 more than originally anticipated. 

Moderna Inc says it is on track to deliver 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses by March and 200 million in June per its deal with the U.S. Pictured: A person receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the gymnasium of International High School in Paterson, New Jersey, January 20

The supply, enough to vaccinate one-third of the U.S. population, is the same amount Pfizer has promised, more than Johnson & Johnson but fewer than AstraZeneca/University of Oxford. Pictured: A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a local clinic

The supply, enough to vaccinate one-third of the U.S. population, is the same amount Pfizer has promised, more than Johnson & Johnson but fewer than AstraZeneca/University of Oxford. Pictured: A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a local clinic 

It comes as President Joe Biden vowed that the U.S. will soon start administering 1.5 million shots per day, 500,000 more than his original goal. Pictured: Biden (center), joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, at a press conference on January 25

It comes as President Joe Biden vowed that the U.S. will soon start administering 1.5 million shots per day, 500,000 more than his original goal. Pictured: Biden (center), joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, at a press conference on January 25

Moderna has committed to supply the U.S. the same amount of vaccines – 100 million – that Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE have.

However, under the deal with Pfizer, the federal government has the option to purchase an additional 400 million doses, enough for 200 million people.

Johnson & Johnson has committed to deliver 100 million doses by June, which CFO Joe Wolk said on Tuesday the company is ‘confident’ it will be able to do.

In addition, the U.S. is expected to receive 300 million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca, but not until fall 2021.  

Moderna’s vaccine was developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health.

It uses part of the pathogen’s genetic code called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to get the body to recognize the coronavirus and attack it if a person becomes infected.

The candidate, called mRNA-1273, works by tricking the body into producing some of the viral proteins, which the immune system then recognizes and builds a defensive response against.

For the clinical trial, one group was given the vaccine and another group was given the placebo

Researchers then waited until 53 participants contracted the virus and developed symptoms.

Trial data revealed the the vaccine was 94.5 percent effective at preventing coronavirus infection and 100 percent effective at preventing severe disease.

So far, more than 41 million total doses have been administered and more than 22.7 million people have received at least one shot

So far, more than 41 million total doses have been administered and more than 22.7 million people have received at least one shot

An average of 1.25 million does per day have been issued in the last week, according to Bloomberg and the CDC

An average of 1.25 million does per day have been issued in the last week, according to Bloomberg and the CDC

On Monday, Moderna said its vaccine appears to be effective against mutations of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and South Africa.

However, because the vaccine generated a weaker immune response against the South African variant, the company is working on a booster shot. 

The announcement of Moderna’s commitment appears to be on track with Biden raising the threshold for vaccinations in the U.S.

In a press conference on Monday, Biden said it won’t be long before the U.S. will soon be able to vaccinate 1.5 million people per day.

That’s about 500,000 more vaccinations than his administration’s target of one  million per day in his first 100 days in office. 

‘I’m quite confident that we will be in a position within the next three weeks or so to be vaccinating people at the range of one million a day or in excess of that,’ he said. 

‘I think with the grace of God, the goodwill of the neighbor and the creek not rising, as the old saying goes, I think we may be able to get that to 1.5 million a day, rather than one million a day.’ 

The increase in vaccinations does not mean any American who wants a shot will be able to get one sooner.

Biden has said he believes this will occur in spring 2021, which is a similar goal issued by the Trump administration. 

So far, more than 41 million total doses have been administered and more than 22.7 million people have received at least one shot.  

According to Bloomberg, an average of 1.25 million does per day have been issued in the last week.

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