Pfizer, BioNTech surge after the US government orders 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

University of Maryland

Pfizer and BioNTech, a German biotech firm, announced Wednesday that the US government has placed an initial order for 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine.

Shares of both companies surged in premarket trading Wednesday. Pfizer jumped as much as 6%, while BioNTech rose nearly 8%.

The US government will pay $US1.95 billion for the doses when they’re manufactured and Pfizer obtains approval or emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. The government can also acquire up to 500 million additional doses of the vaccine under the agreement.

The agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech is part of the US government’s Operation Warp Speed program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021.


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“Expanding Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio by adding a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a statement.

Americans will receive the vaccine for free, according to the announcement.

Pfizer and BioNTech remain on track to begin the next phase of the potential coronavirus vaccine’s safety and efficacy trial later this month, and will seek a regulatory review as early as October 2020.

The companies plan to manufacture up to 100 million doses globally by the end of the year, and increase output to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

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