Pfizer Inc. has received a $1.95 billion order from the U.S. government for 100 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer’s facility in Chesterfield, Missouri, is one of three of the company’s sites identified as manufacturing centers for COVID-19 vaccine production.
“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.”
The company said the $1.95 billion deal with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense calls for Pfizer, and German health innovation company BioNTech, to initially deliver up to 100 million doses of their jointly produced BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine. The government can then order up to 500 million more doses.
The companies said the BNT162 vaccine candidates are undergoing clinical studies and are not currently approved for distribution anywhere in the world. But if the ongoing studies are successful, Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to be ready to seek Emergency Use Authorization or some form of regulatory approval as early as October 2020.
The companies currently expect to manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. The order is part of the U.S. government’s “Operation Warp Speed” program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021.