Following on earlier news of positive results from Pfizer and BioNTech biopharmaceutics's Phase I/II vaccine trials, the partnership has announced today a $1.95 billion dollar agreement with the U.S. government for 100 million doses of the partnership's BNT162 program vaccine.
The agreement made with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, is part of the Trump administration's "Operation Warp Speed" (OWS). OWS's goal is to deliver 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. Pfizer reports its first 100 million doses will be made available to Americans for free as is promised in OWS for selected vaccines.
“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, Pfizer Chairman and CEO. “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. We are honored to be a part of this effort to provide Americans access to protection from this deadly virus.”
Pfizer is of particular interest to vaccine trackers as the company joins the small group of potential "Thanksgiving Vaccines." Colder weather leading into October and November will lead more of us indoors, hampering social distancing and providing new challenges to new social distancing practices in restaurants.
And of course, Thanksgiving occurring on the third Thursday each November is the busiest time to travel each year.
In 2019, AAA estimated 49.3 million automobile travelers, 4.45 million by plane, and 1.49 million by trains, buses, and cruise ships. Each category showed growth over the previous year. Pending an Emergency Use Declaration, Pfizer expects to approach this critical time with the same 100M doses available in October of this year.
“Expanding Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio by adding a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Depending on success in clinical trials, today’s agreement will enable the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of this vaccine to the American people.”