FRIDAY, May 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it would provide up to $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca to develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a lab in Oxford, England.
The fourth, and largest, vaccine research agreement funds a phase 3 clinical trial of the potential vaccine in the United States this summer with about 30,000 volunteers, The New York Times reported.
The goal? To make at least 300 million doses that could be available as early as October, the HHS said in a statement. However, many experts have said that the earliest an effective, mass-produced vaccine would be available will not be until sometime next year, and billions of doses would be needed worldwide.
The United States has already agreed to provide up to $483 million to the biotech company Moderna and $500 million to Johnson & Johnson for their vaccine efforts. It is also providing $30 million to a virus vaccine effort led by the French company Sanofi, The Times reported.