Trump strikes BILLION dollar deal for US coronavirus vaccines as cases continue to rise

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    Mr Trump announced that the government had stuck the deal with the pharmaceutical company in a press briefing at the White House. The deal is worth a staggering $1.525 billion for ownership of 100 million vaccines, to be dispensed once the vaccine is approved. But Moderna is developing the vaccines “at risk”, meaning vaccine production is taking place before they have been clinically proven to be effective against the virus.

    Mr Trump hailed the deal at the press briefing, as well as announcing other partnerships for more vaccines.

    He said: “This evening, I’m pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Moderna to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine candidate.

    “The federal government will own these vaccine doses; we’re buying them.”

    Mr Trump added later: “Doing very well on those vaccines — tremendous promise in every single one of them, and we have many of them. And they’re years ahead of schedule.”

    READ MORE: Donald Trump pushes for school reopenings despite ALARMING coronavirus figures

    The US Health and Human Services Department also announced the vaccines, should they be approved for use, would provided to Americans at no cost.

    The department also announced the US government can acquire 400 million more doses of Moderna’s vaccine if needed.

    The billion dollar deal is part of Operation Warp Speed, a federal push to get vaccines for coronavirus to Americans as quickly as possible.

    HHS has said the aim of the operation is to have effective vaccines ready by the end of the year.

    Alex Azar, Secretary of HHS, also praised Mr Trump’s deal with Moderna as an important step in tackling COVID-19.

    In a statement, he said: “In creating a vaccine portfolio for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021.

    “Today’s investment represents the next step in supporting this vaccine candidate all the way from early development by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, through clinical trials, and now large-scale manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

    It follows a July deal with Pfizer for its vaccine, and a deal earlier this month with Johnson & Johnson for 100 million of their vaccines.

    Moderna started Phase 3 clinical trials on July 27, which is the final round of human trials before the vaccine can be declared effective.

    But on Monday it was revealed that only 4,536 people have signed up to the trials, with Moderna saying it hopes to enrol the needed 30,000 by September.

    The slow uptake in volunteers comes as blow to Mr Trump who hoped a vaccine would be ready by November 3, the day of the US election.

    He said last week: “I believe we’ll have the vaccine before the end of the year, certainly, but around that date, yes. I think so.”

    Dr Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist at Baylor College of Medicine and a CNN medical analyst, said “there’s no way” a vaccine will be ready for that date as the trials will need more time.

    The US has seen the highest amount of coronavirus cases in the world, at 5,141,193 as of today.

    It also has the highest number of deaths worldwide, at 164,531 dead from the virus according to Johns Hopkins University.

    Recently, Mr Trump introduced a new health adviser, Dr Scott Atlas, to his coronavirus task force.

    The controversial appointment has warned against keeping schools closed, in contrast to Dr Anthony Fauci who has clashed with president about lockdowns.



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