The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion to American drug maker Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech SE for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, if it proves to be safe and effective. The companies said Wednesday they finalized a deal with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Defense Department to supply the agencies with a vaccine they are developing jointly, the latest in a number of comparable agreements with other vaccine companies. HHS Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News on Wednesday the U.S. could buy 500 million additional doses of the vaccine provided they are “safe and effective.” The deal announced Wednesday is part of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, which hopes to deliver 300 million doses of an approved vaccine by January 2021. Pfizer and BioNTech said they hope to be ready to pursue some form of regulatory approval as early as October if ongoing studies of the vaccine are successful and that it currently expects to deliver up to 100 million doses by the end of the year. The deal was announced one day after more than 1,000 people in the U.S. died of COVID-19, the first time since early… Read full this story
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