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Thursday Coronavirus Update: AstraZeneca Gets $1 Billion From U.S. for COVID-19 Vaccine

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Good morning, it’s Thursday May 21. 

Here is your daily coronavirus update.

We have surpassed five million cases of the coronavirus worldwide. There are 328,000 fatalities worldwide.

The U.S. has over 1.5 million cases, with 93,000 fatalities.

Russia has 317,000 cases, Brazil has over 291,000 cases.

The United Kingdom has over 249,000 cases with over 35,000 deaths.

AstraZeneca has received more than $1 billion from the U.S. government to boost the manufacturing of an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the University of Oxford.

At the end of February, the company announced that it was teaming up with the University of Oxford to develop a vaccine, with AstraZeneca responsible for the distribution and manufacturing of the vaccine worldwide.

The company said it received funding from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production, and delivery of the vaccine.

The development program, which will kick off in the fall, includes a phase 3 clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a pediatric trial.

AstraZeneca said Thursday it has concluded the first agreements for at least 400 million doses and has secured total manufacturing capacity for a billion doses. The company has said it would begin the first deliveries in September.

While there are many companies participating in the race to develop a vaccine, there hasn’t been a vaccine authorized for public use yet. Many--like AstraZeneca’s and Moderna’s, to name a few, are still in trials.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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