Pfizer gets $1.95 billion to produce coronavirus vaccine by year's end

The U.S. government announced Wednesday a $1.95 billion contract with Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. The contract is part of the Warp Speed Project, which aims to substantially reduce the time to manufacture and distribute an effective vaccine.

The U.S. government announced Wednesday a $1.95 billion contract with Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. The contract is part of the Warp Speed Project, which aims to substantially reduce the time to manufacture and distribute an effective vaccine. Under the agreement, if the vaccine being produced by Pfizer and BioNTech is found safe and effective in clinical trials, the government would obtain 100 million doses for $1.95 billion, with the rights to acquire up to 500 million more, for about 600 million in all. The vaccine would be available to Americans at no cost. The vaccine would require emergency approval by FDA before it could be distributed. According to Pfizer, large-scale safety and efficacy trials are set to begin this month, aiming for regulatory review as early as October. "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," said HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar. Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine candidate uses messenger RNA from the virus to stimulate the immune system without making the recipient ill. The technology can develop a vaccine rapidly, although it has not yet produced one that has been approved and marketed.