Pfizer’s chief executive Albert Bourla said that the drugmaker has not yet signed an agreement with the United States on providing 100 million more coronavirus vaccine doses in 2021.
Bourla told CNN in an interview that Pfizer is still negotiating with the U.S. on whether it will be able to deliver the vaccine in the second or third quarter of the year.
“The U.S. government is asking (for) more. They have asked now for an additional 100 million doses from us,” Bourla said, adding that these were wanted in the second quarter of 2021.
“We can provide them the additional 100 million doses, but right now most of that we can provide in the third quarter.”
“The U.S. government wants them in the second quarter so are working very collaboratively with them to make sure that we can find ways to produce more or allocate the doses in the second quarter,” Bourla told CNN.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.