The COVAX global programme, which has relied heavily on AstraZeneca vaccines, said on Monday it has struck a deal to buy 500 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 jabs.

The doses will broaden the portfolio of vaccines under COVAX, which seeks to ensure poor countries have equitable access to vaccines to combat the pandemic. Moderna is expected to start supplying the vaccines in the final quarter of 2021, with 34 million doses available before the end of the year, the scheme’s co-leader Gavi announced in a statement.

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