Unlike other vaccine deals signed by the government, Pfizer and BioNTech will not collect a payment until their vaccine proves to be safe and effective in a large pivotal clinical trial expected to start this month.
The U.S. and other governments have previously struck deals to support COVID-19 vaccine development, some of which included guaranteed deliveries of doses. But this is the first deal to outline a specific price for finished products.
“The average price for a flu vaccine is around $40,” said Peter Pitts, president and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. “It looks good with that comparison. It’s well within the ballpark of reasonableness.”
So far, the other major experimental vaccines have all displayed relatively similar data on safety and efficacy, suggesting that no one drugmaker would be able to charge dramatically more than its peers, said Mizuho biotechnology analyst Vamil Divan.