US Places Order For 100 Million Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine
The US has just placed a $1.95 billion order to Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech SE for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a report from Business Insider.
The $1.95 billion will not be payed until the vaccines are manufactured and FDA approved. Per the agreement, the US can order an additional 500 million doses.
The deal will hopefully help the US reach their goal of distributing 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 as part of their Operation Warp Speed program.
"This agreement is one of many steps towards providing global access to a safe and efficacious vaccines for COVID-19. We are also in advanced discussions with multiple other government bodies and we hope to announce additional supply agreements soon," Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech. "Our goal remains to bring a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to many people around the world, as quickly as we can."
If the vaccine trials are successful, both Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to seek an Emergency Use Authorization or other form of regulatory approval as soon as October of this year.
"We've been committed to making the impossible possible by working tirelessly to develop and produce in record time a safe and effective vaccine to help bring an end to this global health crisis," said Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer. "We made the early decision to begin clinical work and large-scale manufacturing at our own risk to ensure that product would be available immediately if our clinical trials prove successful and an Emergency Use Authorization is granted."
By the end of 2020, 100 million doses could be manufactured. The initial flood of vaccines would be free to Americans, but they would not cover the entire US population, which is around 328 million citizens.
But, a recent poll from ABC News and The Washington Post found that 30 percent of the country would “probably” or “definitely” not take the vaccine if it were available. Some Americans still have skepticism about vaccines as a whole and concerns about the quick development and novelty of a coronavirus vaccine.
The US is also giving $347 million to two American vial makers in an effort to increase production of the vials and avoid a global shortage ahead of a large-scale vaccine distribution.
Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and AstraZeneca are also working on vaccines to be ready for emergency use by the end of 2020.
As of this week, over 143,000 Americans have died due to coronavirus and nearly 4 million have contracted the virus.
Read the full report here.