On Monday, Aug. 2, the Pentagon confirmed that it had reached a deal with Pfizer for the COVID-19 or CCP (Chinese Communist Party) vaccine doses to be shipped globally.
The U.S. contracted to pay the pharmaceutical giant $3.5 billion to make 500 million COVID-19 shots that would later be donated to nearly 100 countries over the next two years.
The Biden administration made the order this June when he promised to donate the batch to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union. Last month, Pfizer said 200 million of the shots would be shipped this October, whereas the remaining 300 million shots will be distributed in April 2022, the New York Post reported.
The outlet noted Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech said the contract was “at a not-for-profit price.”
“Our partnership with the U.S. government will help bring hundreds of millions of doses of our vaccine to the poorest countries around the world as quickly as possible,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said at the time.
“COVID-19 has impacted everyone, everywhere, and to win the battle against this pandemic, we must ensure expedited access to vaccines for all.”
The 500 million doses will go through the COVAX vaccine program that distributes COVID-19 shots globally to low- and middle-income regions.
COVAX, last month, facing President Biden’s resistance, resorted to Chinese suppliers since shipment problems from AstraZeneca and Moderna manufacturers had caused shortage issues.
With more Pfizer vaccines available to be distributed to the vulnerable nations, hopes were high for them to fight against the new and more dangerous COVID-19 wave led by the Delta variant.
Studies indicated that mRNA vaccines offered greater protection against the CCP Virus than the other brands, with their efficiency said to be between 94—95%.
Meanwhile, some middle-income and developing countries were relying on Chinese vaccines, which were rated only between 50% and nearly 80% in trials and real-world studies.
By June, reports started to emerge that countries that relied solely on the Chinese-made doses saw more cases and still had not been able to temper the outbreaks.
While vaccine efficiency was lower with the Delta strain, at least with Pfizer, the reduced rates were still not too significant.
A study sponsored by Public Health England found that the initial Pfizer shot only provided 30% protection against the Delta variant. However, following the second dose, the efficiency against Delta increased to 88%.