SINGAPORE: On Tuesday (Dec 15), Moderna said it had reached an agreement with the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Singapore to supply the country with mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine.
The agreement will “support ongoing efforts to secure access to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine for the people of Singapore” the biotechnology company said.
The quantity of dosages and the financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.
“We recognize that it will take a number of vaccines and therapeutic options to address this global pandemic, and we are proud of the role Moderna has played in this global effort,” said CEO Stephane Bancel.
Data from a Phase 3 study involving 30,000 U.S. participants showed 94.1% effectiveness against COVID-19 and a 100% success rate in the prevention of serious cases the company said.
From 2021, the company expects to be able to produce 500 million to 1 billion vaccine doses each year.
The vaccine remains stable at room temperature for up to 12 hours and at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, the temperature of a regular refrigerator, for up to 30 days. The vaccine remains stable for up to six months at -20 degrees Celsius.
On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine received U.S. emergency-use approval. On Thursday, an outside advisory panel of the US Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to review the Moderna vaccine, with emergency use expected to be granted shortly afterwards.
On Monday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore has approved the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, with the first shipment due to arrive in the country by the end of this year.
Other vaccines are also expected to arrive in Singapore in the coming months and if everything goes according to plan, there will be enough vaccines for everyone by the third quarter of next year, he said in a televised address.
“Multiple bets” were made by the government to sign advance purchasing agreements and make early down payments for the most successful candidates for the vaccine, said Mr Lee. This included deals with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, with these deals set aside for more than S$1 billion.