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Pfizer and BioNTech will supply the United States with an additional 100 million doses of your COVID-19 vaccine under a second agreement.

Drug makers said Wednesday that they expect to deliver all doses by July 31.

Pfizer already has a contract to supply the government with 100 million doses of your vaccine, which requires two doses per patient.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
A drop falls from a syringe after a healthcare worker was injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, on December 15, 2020. (AP)

Under the nearly $ 2 billion ($ 2.65 billion) deal announced Wednesday, the companies will deliver at least 70 million additional doses by June 30, with the remaining 30 million to be delivered no later than July 31. . The government also has the option to purchase up to 400 million additional doses.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement that the latest agreement can give people confidence “that we will have enough supply to vaccinate all Americans who want it by June 2021.”

Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to gain authorization for emergency use from the Food and Drug Administration, with initial shipments going to states last week. It has now been joined with a Moderna vaccine, which was developed in closer cooperation with scientists at the National Institutes of Health.

Boxes containing Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are moved to the loading dock for shipment at McKesson's distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Boxes containing Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are moved to the loading dock for shipment at McKesson’s distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi. (AP / Paul Sancya)

Moderna’s vaccine, which also requires two doses, comes under the umbrella of the government’s own effort, which is called Operation Warp Speed. That public-private effort was designed to have millions of vaccine doses ready and available for shipment once the injection received FDA approval.

The Associated Press previously reported that the US government was close to striking a new deal with Pfizer in exchange for helping the pharmaceutical giant gain better access to manufacturing supplies.

A law dating back to the Korean War gives the government authority to order private companies to produce critical goods in times of national emergency. Called the Defense Production Act, it is expected to be invoked to help Pfizer secure some raw materials needed for its vaccine.

Pfizer already had a contract to supply the government with 100 million doses of its vaccine under Operation Warp Speed, but government officials have said it is a broader relationship with the company and they do not have as much visibility into its operations.

The drugmaker will also receive about $ 2 billion ($ 2.65 billion) for that deal.

“With these additional 100 million doses, the United States will be able to protect more people and hopefully end this devastating pandemic more quickly,” said Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing our work with the US government and healthcare providers across the country.”

A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London. (AP)

The vaccine from Pfizer and German drugmaker BioNTech immediately raised hopes of taming a pandemic that has killed nearly 320,000 people in the US and hampered much of the national economy. Health care workers and nursing home residents topped the list when local television stations across the country began broadcasting scenes from the first vaccines. Some polls show that vaccination skepticism may be waning.

After the first few failures with testing, Trump administration officials hope to write a very different ending with vaccines. Operation Warp Speed ​​has funded the development, manufacture and distribution of millions of doses, with the goal of providing a free vaccine to any American who wants one.

Operation Warp Speed ​​is on track to have around 40 million vaccine doses by the end of this month, of which around 20 million would go towards the first vaccines. The distribution of these doses will last until the first week of January. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two injections to be fully effective.

the New York Times He first reported the new details of the negotiations between Pfizer and the Trump administration.

– Reported with Associated Press

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