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Moderna to charge Rs 1,855-Rs 2,755 per dose for COVID-19 vaccine

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New Delhi, Nov 22: Moderna will charge governments between Rs 1,855 (USD 25) and Rs 2,755 (USD 37) per dose of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

"Our vaccine, therefore, costs about the same as a flu shot, which is between $10 and $50," he was quoted as saying.

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Moderna has said its experimental vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial, becoming the second developer to report results that far exceeded expectations after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.

Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to be supplied by Moderna, Pfizer

By the end of 2020, the company expects to have approximately 20 million doses of mRNA-1273 ready to ship in the US. The Company remains on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.

The announcements about the vaccines and their potential availability for use among the general population in the coming weeks and months has offered hope to millions around the world in a year that has seen the COVID-19 pandemic devastate lives and economies and still showing no signs of abating.

So far the coronavirus has infected more than 54 million people around the world even as governments implemented strict lockdowns and restrictions to slow the spread of the virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

A second wave of infections is threatening to derail economies and impact lives again as countries have gradually begun to ease restrictions and open up.

While the two vaccines appear to have very similar safety and efficacy profiles, Moderna's vaccine has a significant practical advantage over Pfizer's, CNN reported.

Pfizer's vaccine has to be kept at minus 75 degrees Celsius. No other vaccine in the US needs to be kept that cold, and doctors' offices and pharmacies do not have freezers that go that low.

Moderna's vaccine can be kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius. Other vaccines, such as the one against chickenpox, need to be kept at that temperature.

That means Moderna's vaccine can be kept in "a readily available freezer that is available in most doctors' offices and pharmacies," said Dr Tal Zacks, Moderna's chief medical officer.

"We leverage infrastructure that already exists for other marketed vaccines."

Another advantage of Moderna's vaccine is that it can be kept for 30 days in the refrigerator, the company announced on Monday. Pfizer's vaccine can last only five days in the refrigerator, CNN reported.

Moderna is working with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Operation Warp Speed and McKesson, a COVID-19 vaccine distributor contracted by the US government, as well as global stakeholders to be prepared for distribution of mRNA-1273, in the event that it receives an EUA and similar global authorisations.

India in dialogue with Moderna, other biotech firms over progress in COVID vaccine development: Sources

Vaccinations could begin in the second half of December, Fauci said. Vaccinations are expected to begin with high-risk groups and to be available for the rest of the population next spring.

The vaccines are among 11 candidates in late-stage testing around the world, including four in the US.

The Sputnik V vaccine, developed in Russia, has also released very early data which suggests it is 92 per cent effective.

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