As booster season awaits, US re-ups supply of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine with new $3.2B deal
The US government said late Wednesday that it will pay Pfizer and its partner BioNTech $3.2 billion upon receipt of the first 105 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, potentially the new Omicron-adapted boosters pending EUA.
Under this agreement, the US government also has the option to purchase up to 195 million additional doses, bringing the total number of potential new doses to 300 million. The US has now spent almost $15 billion on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.
“As the virus evolves, this new agreement will help ensure people across the country have access to vaccines that may provide protection against current and future variants,” Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer said in a statement.
Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech reported pivotal data demonstrating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of two Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates, and the FDA’s advisory committee on vaccines recommended that a component of Omicron be included in this next round of booster doses.
While Pfizer said it has yet to request an EUA from the FDA for this booster, Pfizer and BioNTech have begun manufacturing the Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates at risk so that they can begin deliveries rapidly upon authorization. Eligible US residents will continue to receive this next round of vaccine boosters for free, according to the Pfizer statement.
Meanwhile, Pfizer on Thursday morning also submitted its Covid-19 pill Paxlovid for full approval at the FDA, in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at high risk for progression to severe illness from Covid-19, despite some question marks on data among the vaccinated.
The NDA is based on final results from Pfizer’s EPIC-HR study, which offered an 86% reduction in relative risk of hospitalizations or death from any cause. No deaths were observed in patients treated with Paxlovid, and 15 deaths occurred in those on placebo.