Monday, July 15, 2024

The United States will pay Moderna $176 million to try to treat bird flu.

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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The U.S. government will pay Moderna $176 million to develop a vaccine that could be used to treat bird flu in humans, federal officials said Tuesday, as cases in dairy cows continue to rise nationwide.

The funds will be issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will enable continued development of a vaccine using the same mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

The grant was made through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a program focused on medical treatments for potential pandemics.

Moderna will begin testing the safety and efficacy of a vaccine that could be used to boost the immune response to an avian influenza pandemic, if needed.

The H5N1 virus was detected earlier this year in dairy cattle. It has spread to more than 135 herds in 12 states and has so far infected three people, all with mild cases.

Federal health authorities confirm that the risk to the entire population remains low.

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