The United States will pay $1.95 billion for Pfizer to produce and deliver 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S. if it proves safe and effective in humans, the government announced Wednesday.
Under the agreement, the U.S. can acquire an additional 500 million doses, the Department of Health and Human Services added. The vaccine is being jointly developed by German biotech firm BioNTech and U.S.-based Pfizer.
If the potential vaccine proves safe and effective in a large phase three trial and receives emergency authorization or licensure, HHS said Pfizer will begin to deliver doses to locations across the U.S. at the government’s direction. The vaccine would then be made available to Americans “at no cost,” HHS said.
Shares of Pfizer rose more than 4% in premarket trading on the news and BioNTech stock popped over 6%.
“Through Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that the American people will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “Depending on success in clinical trials, today’s agreement will enable the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.”
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