Pfizer Reaches Nearly $2 Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Deal With U.S. Government

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Pfizer, which has a location in Groton, is working on a COVID-19 vaccine and hopes to have a vaccine by the end of the year.

The company on Wednesday announced an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021.

Gov. Ned Lamont held a news conference at Pfizer in Groton to discuss the company’s research to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

“It’s remarkable what they have been able to do,” Lamont said.

"I'm proud you guys are working here. It's an amazing place to be," Lamont added.

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According to a statement from Pfizer, under the agreement, the U.S. government will receive 100 million doses the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

“We are going to have a national stockpile,” Lamont said.

The company said it has four to five major research and development sites in the United States, including in Groton, and they have all contributed to the project.

Pfizer was able to successfully manufacture and obtain approval for emergency use authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pfizer officials said they will start a large-scale clinical trial before the end of July and hope to have a regulatory submission by October and a vaccine available by the end of the year..

The company anticipates that people getting the vaccine would get two doses with a period of time between the first and second doses.

The drug would not be manufactured in Groton, according to the company.

When asked about safety of a vaccine, Pfizer officials said they do not compromise safety.

“Vaccines only work if people take the vaccines,” Lamont later said, wearing a "Science Will Win" mask.

Americans would receive the vaccine for free consistent with U.S. government’s commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines.

"The U.S. government will pay the companies $1.95 billion upon the receipt of the first 100 million doses, following FDA authorization or approval," according to Pfizer and BioNTech.

The statement went on to say the U.S. could also acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.

Pfizer said it also plans to begin clinical trials for an IV treatment for people who are infected with COVID-19 by the end of this year and an oral treatment is down the road.

As of Tuesday, there were 31 states on the travel advisory that requires anyone from the affected states to quarantine for 14 days if coming to Connecticut.

John Burkhardt, senior vice president of drug safety R&D and head of the Pfizer Groton site, and Groton Mayor, Keith Hedrick, will also be taking part in the conversation.

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