Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech said Wednesday they have signed a $ 3.2 billion deal with the U.S. government for 105 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, which could be delivered as soon as later this summer.
The deal includes supplies of a reworked omicron-modified vaccine, pending regulatory approval, according to Pfizer.
Drug manufacturers have developed vaccines to target the omicron variant that became dominant last winter.
The average price per dose in the new deal is more than $ 30, a more than 50% increase from the $ 19.50 per dose paid by the US government in its initial contract with Pfizer.
Some of the vaccine earmarked for adults included in the contract will be in single-dose vials, which are more expensive to manufacture but reduce the wastage of unused shots from open vials.
“We look forward to receiving these new variant-specific vaccines and working with state and local health departments, pharmacies, healthcare providers, federally qualified health centers and other partners to make them available in communities across the country this fall,” he said. U.S. State Department of Health and Human Services Dawn O’Connell said in a statement.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers on Tuesday recommended a change in the design of COVID-19 amplifier shots for this fall to combat more recent circulating variants of the coronavirus.
The U.S. government also has the option to buy up to 195 million additional doses, bringing the total number of potential doses to 300 million, the companies said.
The new contract should promote 2022 vaccine sales for Pfizer and BioNTech, which share the profits from the shots. Pfizer predicted $ 32 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales this year. Analysts predicted average 2022 sales of about $ 33.6 billion for the shots.
The U.S. government has distributed nearly 450 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in the United States since it was first authorized in December 2020, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 350 million of those doses were administered.
Because the Biden administration could not raise more COVID-19 funding from Congress earlier this month, it was forced to reallocate $ 10 billion of existing funding to pay for additional vaccines and treatments.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the money to pay for doses in this new contract comes from this funding.