The US government has signed a $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech pharmaceutical firms for 100 million doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the deal, US citizens would receive the vaccine for free. An additional 500 million doses can be acquired as well, the companies said.
“Adding a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech” to the government’s Operation Warp Speed inoculation-development program “increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
Pfizer and BioNTech are currently evaluating four possible COVID-19 vaccines, two of which have received Fast Track designation by the FDA, which enables the firms to move ahead with an expedited development process.