The European Commission announced today that it has reached an agreement with Moderna to supply an additional 150 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine this year, almost doubling the number of doses it has secured for 2021 from the Massachusetts-based biotechnology company.
Under the deal, which was leaked to Reuters on Monday, but has been confirmed since that time, the European Union also has the option of buying another 150 million doses of the mRNA-based vaccine next year as well.
The EU has already closed on a deal to purchase 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine this year. Deliveries of the precious vaccine began in January, with the goal of delivering 10 million inoculations by the end of March, although there have been some delays.
Extremely safe and effective
After extensive research and testing, Moderna’s inoculation was proven to be extremely safe and over 94% effective in protecting people over the age of 18 from contracting the virus after they received two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart.
Moderna vaccine vs. Pfizer-BioNTech’s
Both vaccines have been proven to be extremely safe and effective in preventing against the coronavirus after extensive trials.
Notably, the Moderna vaccine can be stored and distributed more easily than its counterpart developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, as it requires less frigid temperatures than the latter. The Moderna vaccine can be stored at a temperature of -20C (-4F) for up to 6 months, and at 2 to 8C (35 to 46F), the temperature of a standard medical refrigerator, for up to 30 days.
However, the shot from Pfizer-BioNTech requires a frigid -70C (-94F) to be effective, and can only be kept in the freezer for five days.
Additionally, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be opened and diluted before use, and once diluted, is only usable for six hours.
Moderna dedicated to groundbreaking mRNA technology
Moderna says that the company was built “on the guiding premise that if using mRNA as a medicine works for one disease, it should work for many diseases. And, if this is possible – given the right approach and infrastructure – it could meaningfully improve how medicines are discovered, developed and manufactured.”
Moderna’s “Operating System”
After realizing the incredible potential of mRNA, Moderna says that they then “set out to create an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer.
“It is designed so that it can plug and play interchangeably with different programs. In our case, the “program” or “app” is our mRNA drug – the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein.”