Moderna receives $176 million contract to develop pandemic flu vaccine

The government is contracting with Moderna to combat a possible outbreak of bird flu.

The U.S. government will pay Moderna $176 million to develop a pandemic vaccine, specifically targeting the potential use of the vaccine to treat bird flu as cases in dairy cows continue to increase across the country.

The funding will be provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and it is intended to support the ongoing development of a vaccine using mRNA technology, similar to the technology used for COVID-19 vaccines.


The big picture: The award is part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) program, which focuses on developing medical treatments for potential pandemics.

  • Moderna will conduct trials to assess the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, with the goal of having the infrastructure to respond quickly to a potential bird flu pandemic if necessary.
  • The H5N1 virus, which has been detected in dairy cows, has spread to over 135 herds in 12 states and has so far infected three individuals with only mild cases. Federal health officials emphasize that the risk to the broader population remains low.
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