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EU strikes deal with Moderna to supply up to 160 million COVID vaccine shots

The deal with Moderna is the sixth supply deal the EU has negotiated with vaccine makers to secure COVID-19 shots.

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The European Union has struck a deal with U.S. biotech Moderna
for the supply of up to 160 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, the head of the European Commission said on Tuesday.

“I am happy to announce that tomorrow we will approve a new contract to secure another COVID-19 vaccine in our vaccine portfolio,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, at a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

She said that the EU is also trying to reach agreement for another vaccine contract.

Last week, Moderna said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial.

Moderna, which plans to file for an Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks, has said it is on track to deliver about 500 million doses a year and possibly up to 1 billion doses a year, beginning in 2021.

Read: Pfizer and BioNTech reach deal to supply EU with 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate

The contract with Moderna
comes after the Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said in August that it had concluded preliminary talks with the U.S. firm with the aim of signing a contract for the supply of 80 million doses of its vaccine, with the option of buying another 80 million.

The EU has now negotiated six supply deals with vaccine makers to secure COVID-19 shots. It also has contracts with BioNTech
Johnson & Johnson
 and Sanofi
and is in talks with Novavax
 for a seventh vaccine.

Read: AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine can be up to 90% effective, late-stage trials show

Earlier in November, Moderna also signed a deal with the U.K. to supply its vaccine candidate, starting from the beginning of March, if it is approved for use by local regulatory authorities. 

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