US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the US government’s agreement with Pfizer “historic” on CNBC Wednesday morning.
“This Pfizer one’s really historic,” Azar said. “It is a contract, an advance purchase contract, where we can acquire 100 million doses of this vaccine as early as December of 2019, of 2020 and have the option to buy an additional 500 million doses.” (Azar misspoke in the interview, first saying 2019, then correcting himself to say 2020).
Azar said that clinical data from the phase 1 trial of the Pfizer vaccine shows that it produces what is looked for in the early stages of a vaccine: “neutralizing antibodies [at] levels equal to or better than what we see in recovered Covid patients and their convalescent plasma.”
“So, really a historic agreement that President Trump led us to here,” Azar said.
The Pfizer news comes on the heels of four other major investments, Azar said. The other four investments are in AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novovax and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine from its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical.