The United States has secured almost a third of the first one billion doses planned for AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine by pledging up to $1.2 billion, as world powers scramble for medicines to get their economies back to work.
While not proven to be effective against the coronavirus, vaccines are seen by world leaders as the only real way to restart their stalled economies, and even to get an edge over global competitors.
After President Donald Trump demanded a vaccine, the U.S. Department of Health agreed to provide up to $1.2 billion to accelerate AstraZeneca’s vaccine development and secure 300 million doses for the United States.
AstraZeneca, based in Cambridge, England, said it had concluded agreements for at least 400 million doses of the vaccine and secured manufacturing capacity for one billion doses, with first deliveries due to begin in September.
VACCINE SCRAMBLE. With leaders across the world surveying some of the worst economic destruction since at least World War Two, and the deaths of more than 325,000, many are scrambling for a vaccine.
The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest maker of vaccines by volume, has dedicated one of its facilities with a capacity to produce up to 400 million doses annually to producing the Oxford vaccine.
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