The Trump administration will pay Pfizer nearly $2 billion for a December delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical company is developing, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday. The US could buy another 500 million doses under the agreement, Azar said. ‘Now those would, of course, have to be safe and effective’ and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Azar said during an appearance on Fox News. Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced separately that the agreement is with HHS and the Defense Department for a vaccine candidate the companies are developing jointly. It is the latest in a series of similar agreements with other vaccine companies. Shares for Pfizer rose one percent on the heels of the announcement. Shares for BioNTech SE shot up more than five percent. The agreement is part of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine program, under which multiple COVID-19 vaccines are being developed simultaneously. The program aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. Under the initiative, the government will speed development and buy vaccines – before they are deemed safe and effective – so that the… Read full this story
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