Pfizer, which is co-developing Covid-19 vaccine with BioNTech, has selected four U.S. states to implement the U.S. COVID-19 Immunization Pilot Program.
The move would help the drug major refine the plan to deliver and deploy the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, when it is authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The four states include Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee. Pfizer’s U.S. COVID-19 Immunization Pilot Program was launched to help better support the states’ planning, deployment, and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
However, these states will not receive vaccine doses earlier than other states by virtue of this pilot, nor will they receive any differential consideration.
Pfizer expects to adapt learnings from the pilot program for usage across other states to help them create effective immunization programs for this vaccine.
In an update on its preparation to distribute U.S. covid-19 vaccine candidate, the company said it has been working with U.S. officials in Operation Warp Speed or OWS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
On November 9, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, which is under a phase III study, has been found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The safety data of the vaccine is expected to be available by the third week of November after which the companies plan to seek Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.
The European Medicines Agency and Health Canada have already begun rolling review of BNT162b2.
Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to meet the U.S. government’s OWS program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021.
Under the deal, the companies would initially supply 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine after it obtains FDA approval or emergency use authorization. The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion for the initial doses, and there is option to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.
The companies have also agreed to supply 200 million doses of BNT162b2 to European Union Member States. The companies expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
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