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: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
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