The deal with AstraZeneca is the fourth and by far the largest vaccine research agreement that the department has disclosed. The money will pay for a Phase 3 clinical trial of a potential vaccine in the United States this summer with about 30,000 volunteers.
The H.H.S. statement said the agency and AstraZeneca “are collaborating to make available at least 300 million doses,” and projected that the first doses could be available as early as October.
There is no proven treatment or vaccine against the virus, and infectious-disease experts also warn that many vaccine candidates take years to perfect. Some fail or cause such severe side effects that human trials are halted.
But even before any are approved, governments and other organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are spending millions of dollars to prepare for the manufacturing of several potential vaccines to make them broadly available as soon as