Moderna Receives HHS Grant to Develop Human H5N1 Vaccine

Moderna will get 176 million dollars in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a human vaccine against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. The grant follows outbreaks of the virus in dairy cattle throughout several states.

The U.S. has documented three cases of humans with bird flu so far this year, and all had regular contact with dairy cattle. As of this month, over 130 herds in 12 states have been infected by the H5N1 virus. “We’ve successfully taken lessons learned during COVID-19 and used them to better prepare for future public health crises,” says HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “As a part of that, we continue to develop new vaccines and other tools to help address influenza and bolster our pandemic response capabilities.”

HHS also says the funding was made available through the federal-level Rapid Response Partnership Vehicle and allows Moderna to enhance vaccine response capability.