The Trump administration has agreed to purchase another 100 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate as it awaits emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Moderna announced Friday that the federal government "has exercised its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses" of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, on top of the 100 million doses the federal government previously agreed to buy. The new doses are set to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021, the company said.
"Securing another 100 million doses from Moderna by June 2021 further expands our supply of doses across the Operation Warp Speed portfolio of vaccines," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. "This new federal purchase can give Americans even greater confidence we will have enough supply to vaccinate all Americans who want it by the second quarter of 2021."
Moderna says it expects to have 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine delivered in the U.S. by the end of this year, should it receive emergency approval from the FDA. An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to review Moderna's candidate next week, ABC News reports. According to Moderna, the U.S. government still has the option to purchase up to 300 million more doses of the vaccine.
Moderna is one of two companies that has applied for emergency FDA authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, the other being Pfizer, and an independent panel this week recommended the FDA approve Pfizer's vaccine for emergency use. That approval could potentially come by Friday, and Azar says that the first U.S. vaccinations could begin as early as Monday or Tuesday.