Moderna Inc and the Philippine government have agreed to purchase 13 million doses of the company’s vaccine scheduled to be delivered to the country by mid-year.
Moderna itself confirmed this while saying that it will immediately take care of the necessary rules such as obtaining emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Aside from the 13 million doses purchased by the government, Moderna is also expected to have a separate agreement to supply seven million doses to the private sector.
Currently, only Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac vaccines were given EUA for use in their vaccines in the country even though they are still in the development stage.
Another manufacturer, the Chinese firm Sinopharm, has already applied for the EUA to the FDA despite being granted a ‘compassionate permit’ after some government and military personnel were first vaccinated.
In November 2020, Moderna announced its vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
Noubar Afeyan, Moderna co-founder and chairman, discusses the company’s new data, distribution, plan for emergency use authorization, and its advantage over a vaccine by Pfizer Inc. in an interview with Bloomberg.
Philippines, Moderna agreed on 13 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines
“In a trial of 30,000 subjects, where we already received some 95 cases of infections. In those, 90 of them were in the population that did not receive the vaccine, and only five were the only infections that did. That is where the 94.5 percent protection comes from,” said Afeyan.
He added that if that scale translates to millions of people, their vaccine would save lives and prevent severe respiratory disease cases.
When asked for the next steps and when Moderna could file for emergency use of the vaccine, Afeyan said they are closely coordinated with the regulatory bodies and the Food and Drug Administration. He added they hope to distribute the vaccine by early December.
The Moderna chairman said they would prioritize giving the vaccine to the medical frontliners.
Afeyan said around 10 to 20 million doses would be distributed through the supply chain before the end of 2020 and around 50 million doses by the first quarter of 2021.