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Photo illustration: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense announced on Friday that they will purchase 100 million additional doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Why it matters: The purchase will bring the total doses of Moderna's vaccine owned by the federal government to 200 million, HHS said. The vaccine is still awaiting emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The big picture: Moderna filed an emergency use authorization application for the vaccine to the FDA in November. The company said the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 94.1%.

  • An FDA advisory panel is scheduled to meet Dec. 17 to review the application.
  • By the end of 2020, Moderna expects to have approximately 20 million vaccine doses available in the U.S, and plans to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021, according to a press release.
  • The FDA could make a final decision on Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine as early as Friday. An advisory panel recommended the approval of the vaccine on Thursday.

What they're saying: “Securing another 100 million doses from Moderna by June 2021 further expands our supply of doses across the Operation Warp Speed portfolio of vaccines,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Friday.

  • “This new federal purchase can give Americans even greater confidence we will have enough supply to vaccinate all Americans who want it by the second quarter of 2021.”

Of note: The government also has the option to acquire up to an additional 300 million doses of Moderna's vaccine.

Go deeper: Gottlieb confirms U.S. government turned down Pfizer offer for more vaccine doses

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy, large study shows — FDA authorizes mix-and-match for booster shots — J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year.
  2. Health: Cases and deaths keep falling — White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11 — The global coronavirus vaccine gap — Gates Foundation to send $120 million of antiviral pills to lower-income countries.
  3. Politics: Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates — Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.