Israel, Moderna sign expanded deal for 6 million COVID vaccine doses

PM Netanyahu: "This is three times the number of vaccines in the original contract with Moderna. It gives us hope."

Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)
Israel has signed an expanded supply agreement with Moderna to receive an additional four million doses of the company’s messenger RNA (mRNA) coronavirus vaccine candidate, the Health Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday, bringing the total secured doses of mRNA-1273 to six million.
Last week, Moderna announced that it had applied for US and European emergency authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine based on results of a late-stage study showing that it was 94.1% effective, with no serious safety concerns. The company also reported a 100% success rate in preventing severe cases.
In addition, Moderna said in a statement that it has already initiated the rolling regulatory review process with Israel’s Health Ministry.
“I am pleased to announce that we signed today with the Moderna Company for the supply of six million vaccines for you, Israel’s citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement on Friday. “This is three times the number of vaccine [doses] in the original contract with Moderna. It gives us hope. We see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Netanyahu added that “our mission is to bring vaccines; it is your job to keep the rules. If we do that, we are going to win. Together we will beat coronavirus.”
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein called the revised contract “great news for Israeli citizens and the Israeli economy,” saying “there will be no citizen wanting to be vaccinated for whom we will not be able to supply a vaccine.”
Israel’s previous contract was worth NIS 240 million, meaning that each dose of the Moderna vaccine costs $12, or $24 per person, since two doses are required for vaccination. The six million doses could protect three million people.
The first doses are expected to arrive in the country early next year. Moderna’s Israeli-born chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, told The Jerusalem Post that Israel will be among the first in line.
Moderna has continued to scale up its global manufacturing to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year – possibly up to 1 billion – beginning in 2021, the company has said.
Its strategic manufacturing partnerships are with Lonza of Switzerland and ROVI of Spain, for manufacturing and fill-finish outside of the United States. This, the company said, is a dedicated supply chain to support countries other than the US that enter into purchase agreements with Moderna.
Israel was one of the first countries to sign for the company’s novel coronavirus vaccine in June. Zaks became a regular personality on the 8 p.m. news and was named among the Post’s “50 Most Influential Jews of 2020.”
“We appreciate the confidence the Government of Israel and the Health Ministry has shown in mRNA-1273, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, with this second purchase,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel.
“We are proud of the progress we have made to date on mRNA-1273, including the recent positive primary efficacy analysis of the Phase 3 COVE Study. We will continue our ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Health in Israel as we seek to develop our vaccine candidate.”


Tags Moderna mRNA