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EU says talks with Moderna on COVID-19 vaccine candidate are ongoing

The European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the EU was in talks with Moderna to secure doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate but negotiations had not been wrapped up yet.

“Negotiations with the company are ongoing. We have not yet concluded or signed a contract,” Kyriakides told EU lawmakers in a regular hearing.

Moderna said on Monday that the experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, becoming the second US drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations.

Together with Pfizer’s vaccine, which is also more than 90% effective, and pending more safety data and regulatory review, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year.

The vaccines, both developed with new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA), represent powerful tools to fight a pandemic that has infected 54 million people worldwide and killed 1.3 million. The news also comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are soaring, hitting new records in the United States and pushing some European countries back into lockdowns.

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