Last week, the U.S. government finally released the contract it made with Moderna in August for vaccine manufacturing and distribution. As with most documents of public interest released by this administration, the contract is heavily redacted.
Moderna Therapeutics holds one of the current vaccine candidates that has entered Phase III testing. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had entered a contract with Moderna back in August as part of Operation Warp Speed. The contract with Moderna, worth approximately $1.5 billion USD, would allow for the United States to secure the first 100 million doses of the vaccine, along with an option to buy up to 400 million more doses. These contracts have been created with many pharmaceutical companies despite the fact that data about safety and efficacy has not been finalized yet, as all the clinical trials are still running. The terms and conditions of the contract have not been extensively disclosed, leaving the public in the dark to wonder important details about cost and access. The contract released is 53 pages, only of which 14 are unredacted.
NPR reported that “while the publicly posted Moderna contract includes previously unknown details, extensive redactions leave the public in the dark about some of the company’s obligations as well as the extent of protections for taxpayers.” Keep reading here.