Coronavirus: Pfizer vaccine could be distributed by year’s end, CEO says

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine could be distributed by end of year

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday that the company’s novel coronavirus vaccine could be distributed before the close of 2020.

“I cannot say what the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) will do, but I think it is a likely scenario, and we are preparing for it,” Bourla said in an interview on CBS' “Face the Nation,” noting the company is prepared to distribute “hundreds of thousands of doses” once given the green light.

Content Continues Below

Pfizer, along with Moderna and AstraZeneca, is one of three companies currently in late-stage testing for a novel coronavirus vaccine, and AstraZeneca announced Saturday it will resume its trial after temporarily pausing it for safety reasons, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, Pfizer anticipates reaching its initial enrollment target of 30,000 participants by next week and having key data from its late-stage FDA trial by the end of October, Fox Business reported.

According to CNBC, Pfizer, in partnership with German drugmaker BioNTech, signed a $1.95 billion deal in July with the U.S. government to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their vaccine if it is deemed safe and effective.

On Sunday, Bourla said that the company has already invested $1.5 billion in the potential vaccine’s development, but while failure would be “painful,” it “will not break the company.”

On Saturday, Pfizer submitted a proposal to the FDA to expand the late-stage trial to include up to 44,000 participants, a significant increase from its initial target of 30,000, CNBC reported.

According to Fox Business, the expanded study will include more vulnerable populations among test subjects, such as adolescents as young as 16 years old and people with chronic stable conditions like HIV, hepatitis C or hepatitis B.

“I think we should strive to have as more a diverse population as possible, but right now we are not bad, actually. We have a population that globally, only 60% are Caucasians, 40% approximately minorities,” Bourla said.