US government turns to Pfizer to produce millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine

The United States will pay $ 1.95 billion for Pfizer to produce and deliver 100 million doses of its candidate vaccine Covid-19 in the US if proven to be safe and effective in humans, the government announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the United States can purchase an additional 500 million doses, the Department of Health and Human Services added. The vaccine is being jointly developed by the German biotechnology firm BioNTech and the American Pfizer.

If the potential vaccine proves to be safe and effective in a large phase three trial and receives emergency authorization or licensing, HHS said Pfizer will begin delivering doses to locations across the US at the direction of the government. The vaccine would be made available to Americans “at no cost,” HHS said.

Pfizer shares rose more than 4% in pre-market trading in the news, and BioNTech shares rose more than 6%.

“Through Operation Warp Speed, we are putting together a portfolio of vaccines to increase the likelihood that the American people will have at least one safe and effective vaccine by the end of this year,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “Depending on the success of clinical trials, today’s agreement will allow the delivery of approximately 100 million doses of vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.”

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