Israel, Moderna sign deal for 6 million doses of mRNA vaccine candidate

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An original contract was for 2 million doses. The company’s CMO is Israeli.

Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

Vials with a sticker reading, “COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only” and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020.

(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

Israel and Moderna have signed a new contract to triple the amount of the company’s coronavirus vaccine that the Jewish state will receive from 2 million doses to 6 million doses in 2021.

The 6 million doses will be enough to vaccinate 3 million Israelis.

Earlier this week, Moderna applied for US and European emergency authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine based on results from a late-stage study showing its vaccine was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns. The company also reported a 100% success rate in preventing severe cases.

“I am pleased to announce that we signed today with the Modern Company on the supply of six million vaccines for you, Israeli citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement on Friday. “This is three times the number of vaccines in the original contract with Moderna. It gives us hope. We see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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He added that, “Our mission is to bring vaccines, it is your job to keep the rules. If we do that, we are going to win. Together we will beat coronavirus.”

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein called the revised contract “great news for Israeli citizens and the Israeli economy.”

“There will be no citizen who wants to be vaccinated that we will not be able to supply with a vaccine,” he said.

Israel’s previous contract was worth NIS 240 million, meaning that each dose of the Moderna vaccine costs $12 or $24 a person, since two doses are required for vaccination.

The first doses are expected to arrive in the country sometime at the beginning of next year. Moderna’s Israeli-born chief medical officer Tal Zaks told The Jerusalem Post that Israel will be among the first in line.

Israel was one of the first countries to sign on to receive the company’s novel coronavirus vaccine back in June. Zaks became a regular personality on the 8 p.m. news and was named among the Post’s “50 Most Influential Jews of 2020.”

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