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Libyas United Nations-recognised government in Tripoli announced it would impose a full lockdown in areas of the country it controls, after a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The US government will pay $2.1bn to Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc for COVID-19 vaccines to cover 50 million people and to underwrite the drugmakers testing and manufacturing, the companies said on Friday.
That is almost identical to the $40 per patient the US agreed to pay Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE when it inked a nearly $2bn deal for 50 million courses of that potential vaccine last week.
The Sanofi-GSK deal is for 100 million doses, at two per person, and gives the US government an option to purchase an additional 500 million doses at an unspecified price. Sanofi and GSK plan to start clinical trials for the vaccine in September.
The internationally recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli has reinstated a total lockdown for at least five days to curb the growing coronavirus outbreak in the war-torn country.
With Libyas health system and infrastructure devastated by nine years of conflict, the United Nations-supported government ordered people in western Libya to stay inside unless they have to purchase essentials.
Libya is divided between rival administrations in the west and east. It has reported 3,621 confirmed coronavirus infections and 74 fatalities due to COVID-19, but testing nationwide remains extremely limited.
Sanofi SA and GlaxoSmithKline Plc said they are in advanced discussions to supply up to 300 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine for the 27-country European Union.
Armed with an emergency fund of more than two billion euros ($2.4bn), the European Commission wants to strike deals with up to six drugmakers for their vaccines for their 450 million citizens against the coronavirus that has killed 674,000 people worldwide.