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US government and Pfizer reach $1.95 billion deal to produce millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses

The US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense announced on Wednesday a $1.95 billion agreement with Pfizer to produce 100 million...

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 12:43 PM

The US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense announced on Wednesday a $1.95 billion agreement with Pfizer to produce 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States. The deal also allows the US government to acquire an additional 500 million doses.

The initial 100 million vaccines will belong to the federal government, although the vaccine will need emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration to be distributed. The vaccine developers, Pfizer and BioNTech, still need to complete a large Phase 3 clinical trial to show the vaccine effectively protects people from the coronavirus.

If the vaccine is successful and receives EUA or licensure, nationwide delivery would begin in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to HHS. The Pfizer doses would be delivered to locations at the US government's direction.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a press release that the US government is collecting different vaccines through the Operation Warp Speed program in order to have at least one effective Covid-19 vaccine available to Americans. According to the World Health Organization, two dozen Covid-19 vaccines are in clinical trials around the world.

The Pfizer vaccine would be available to American people at no cost, the HHS press release says. Health care professionals could charge insurers for vaccine administration. Any Covid-19 vaccine that is sponsored by the government will be free or affordable for the Americans, Azar said on CNBC Wednesday.

"For any vaccine that we have bought -- so for instance, the Pfizer vaccine -- those hundred million doses would actually be acquired by the US government, then given for free to Americans," Azar said.

He said it was the same with the AstraZeneca and the Novovax vaccine, and they continue to be in discussion about the others.

"We will ensure that any vaccine that we're involved in sponsoring is either free to the American people or is affordable," Azar said.

For the Pfizer vaccine, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority collaborated with the DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command to provide $1.95 billion for the production and nationwide delivery of the first 100 million doses.

"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," Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and CEO said in a separate release from the company. "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."

Preliminary data released in a pre-print paper this week by Pfizer and BioNTech said its Covid-19 vaccine appeared safe and elicited antibody and T cell immune responses in a Phase 1/2 trial. However, more research is needed; Pfizer and BioNTech said they could start a Phase 3 trial of the vaccine in late July if they receive regulatory approval.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 156287

Reported Deaths: 2252
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31935542
Washington21311212
Marion18541285
Clackamas13426183
Lane10325129
Jackson8489114
Umatilla767882
Deschutes597561
Yamhill379168
Linn360157
Malheur335358
Polk307343
Klamath279855
Douglas252755
Josephine236553
Benton234817
Jefferson196628
Coos152420
Union129519
Columbia127421
Wasco122126
Lincoln113620
Hood River106929
Morrow104914
Clatsop7776
Crook77618
Baker6639
Curry4296
Tillamook4212
Lake3786
Harney2776
Grant2251
Wallowa1425
Gilliam541
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3582320

Reported Deaths: 53083
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119601721676
Riverside2904983849
San Bernardino2870552959
Orange2617983966
San Diego2613533342
Santa Clara1110761798
Kern103756915
Fresno957851451
Sacramento937901498
Alameda809501271
Ventura77952870
San Joaquin671231150
Contra Costa62931695
Stanislaus56433953
Tulare48114768
Monterey42335329
San Mateo39148521
San Francisco34387422
Santa Barbara32147420
Solano30216165
Merced29264407
Sonoma28261301
Imperial26926638
Kings22091220
Placer19911232
San Luis Obispo19751238
Madera15523214
Santa Cruz14736183
Marin13285198
Yolo12867185
Shasta11054179
Butte11007167
El Dorado9195100
Napa908072
Sutter889998
Yuba577638
San Benito577061
Lassen562324
Tehama510452
Nevada398874
Tuolumne396659
Mendocino382643
Amador347441
Humboldt323033
Lake316941
Glenn223223
Colusa214013
Calaveras191849
Siskiyou178414
Inyo132137
Mono12144
Del Norte10085
Plumas6536
Modoc4604
Mariposa3957
Trinity3735
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
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