Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German BioNTech have signed a deal with the federal government for the supply of 100 million doses under a $2 billion deal announced on Wednesday. This deal will only be active when Pfizer successfully manufactures and obtain approval from the authorization of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer and BioNtech are setting the ceiling price of $20 per dose, this will directly impact on the other drug-making companies charge to protect against Covid-19. With this deal, the government also has an option to acquire an additional 500 Million doses of BNT162, vaccine named. But the price for an additional half-billion doses if ordered will be negotiated separately.
This agreement allows the U.S. government to buy a large portion of the vaccine developed by Pfizer probably in 2021, adding at the top of the other contracts with AstraZeneca for 300 million doses and Novavax with 100 million doses.
Government worldwide is looking for ways to fight the pandemic which killed more than 6 million people and dozens of pharma companies are in an unprecedented race dealing with the problem of how to price vaccine doses. Other drug-making companies are trying to exceed the price of $20 a dose this can’t be possible unless they can deliver a more effective product. For instance, Modena’s vaccine, which has fewer side effects, does not need many doses and the vaccine candidates are developing the messenger RNA-Technology. They can try to exceed the price of $20. But the Pricing of the Covid-19 vaccine is far different than pricing any other product because of its potential demand and value. It would be ethical if the price of the Covid-19 vaccine will be calculated like any other vaccinal products. We are dealing with pandemic here not any usual business activity. To make a profit off the vaccine is one thing but to profiteer off the pandemic is another!
Americans will receive the vaccine for free under the U.S. government’s commitment to free access for the Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this week, Pfizer who is currently evaluating atleast four experimental vaccines with BioNTech has shown positive results. Due to this, Pfizer shares rose to $38.30 by 4.1$ and BioNTech jumped 8.3% to $99.
Well, if we are learning about a vaccine, let’s take a deep look at how it can prevent people from coronavirus…
The BNT162 is the program based on BioNTech mRNA technology supported by Pfizer. The vaccine is right now going under various stages of clinical trials. It has shown that BNT162 can produce neutralizing antibodies in humans at or above the levels observed in the plasma from patients who have already recovered from Covid-19. BNT192b1 is the most advanced of the four mRNA technology. This vaccine represents a unique combination of mRNA technology format and target antigen. The reactions to this medicine are dose-dependent from mid to moderate and vaccine candidates did not face any serious adverse effects. Addition to that, on July 20th, they have also found a positive response from its German Phase I/II vaccine trials saying that this vaccine can produce the T-cell response to the body to fight the coronavirus. They will be going to start large human trials this month.
The U.S. food and Drug Administration has given the fast track designation for two of the vaccine candidates having BNT162b1 and BNT162 b2. This designation was granted based on their previous clinical trials of Phase I/II result in the United States and Germany. If the ongoing study is successful, Pfizer and BioNTech will be able to Emergency Use Authorisation as early as October. This means that vaccines that can cure the patients suffering from coronavirus will be available in three months.
The company estimated that they will be able to manufacturer 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and approx 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. Now the problem is to deal with the supply of dozens of doses around the world, especially for the poor region!
However, Pfizer and BioNtech took a great measure to help the supply of vaccine all over the world with the help of COVAX facility, a mechanism established by Gavi – the vaccine alliance, the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness innovation and WHO, to provide the government with access to a large portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine using digital technologies.
The U.S. is expanding its operations by adding the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech in the list of the other vaccine deals with different companies increasing the odds that they will have a safe, effective vaccine by the end of this year.