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May 13, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Moderna to supply 25 million vaccine doses to Australia – Brazil halts AZ jab in pregnant women after death reported

By Chris Lo

Moderna has signed a new supply agreement with the Australian government for the delivery of 25 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to the country. The agreement includes the supply of 10 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine against the ancestral strain (mRNA-1273) to be delivered in 2021 and 15 million doses of the company’s updated variant booster vaccine candidate to be delivered in 2022. Any purchase under the agreement requires the regulatory approval of mRNA-1273 and booster vaccine candidates by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.

Brazil has stopped administering AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in pregnant women, after a 35-year-old pregnant woman died of a haemorrhagic stroke in Rio de Janeiro that is being linked to the AstraZeneca shot she received days earlier. While authorities are investigating the issues, the suspension does not apply to the use of other vaccines in the country, including shots from Sinovac and Pfizer. AstraZeneca stated that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers were not included in its Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials.

INOVIO has reported that its next-generation  pan-Covid-19 vaccine candidate, INO-4802, demonstrated potent neutralising antibodies and T cell responses against the original Wuhan strain, B.1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.351 (South African variant) and P.1. (Brazilian variant) in preclinical models. A study showed that INO-4802 induced cross-reactive immune responses against current and emerging variants, as either a first-line vaccine or as a booster for individuals inoculated with other Wuhan-matched vaccines.  The company plans to conduct Phase I/II trials of the vaccine candidate later this year.

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