The Trump administration on Wednesday announced an agreement with Pfizer for production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, assuming it receives approval by the FDA.
The agreement between Pfizer and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense also will allow the federal government to acquire an additional 500 million doses.
The announcement was the latest step in Operation Warp Speed, a Trump administration project that has a goal of distributing a vaccine nationwide by January 2020.
The Department of Defense will deliver the vaccine to the U.S., which has a population of 320 million.
President Trump, in remarks at a Wednesday news conference, called it a “historic agreement.”
“This is another crucial step in our effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine in record-breaking time – really a very small fraction of the time, based on previous schedules. … I want to thank everybody involved,” Trump said. It’s been an incredible process.”
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech said Wednesday they are set to begin the final phase (Phase 3) of clinical trials in late July. A news release said they are set to receive “regulatory approval as early as October 2020” and to “manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.”
“We think we have a winner there,” Trump said. “We also think we have other companies right behind that are doing very well on the vaccines – long ahead of schedule.”
HHS said the agreement with Pfizer will allow for a “safe and effective vaccine” to “be shipped quickly if FDA grants [Emergency Use Authorization] or licensure.”
“This approach helps meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccine to the American people by the end of the year,” HHS said in a news release.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sittithat Tangwitthayaphum
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.