Pfizer's Pilot Program For Vaccine Distribution In 4 States: What You Should Know

Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE) shares, which came under selling pressure Monday in response to positive news on a rival vaccine candidate from Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), were rebounding Tuesday after Pfizer unveiled an action plan to distribute its COVID-19 vaccine candidate upon successful regulatory clearance.

What Happened: Pfizer announced the U.S. COVID-19 Immunization Pilot Program, which will facilitate delivery and deployment of BNT162b2, the investigational vaccine it is co-developing with German biopharma BioNTech SE – ADR (NASDAQ: BNTX).

The four states chosen for the pilot program are Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico and Tennessee, Pfizer said in a statement.

The states were selected due to “their differences in overall size, diversity of populations, and immunization infrastructure, as well as the states' need to reach individuals in varied urban and rural settings,” the company said.

The selection of these states for the pilot program does not vest them with any other advantages such as earlier receipt of the vaccine or any other special consideration.

"We are hopeful that results from this vaccine delivery pilot will serve as the model for other U.S. states and international governments, as they prepare to implement effective COVID-19 vaccine programs," said Angela Hwang, the Pfizer Bio Group's president.

Related Link: The Week Ahead In Biotech: The Vaccine Updates, Drug Presentations, And FDA Decisions That Will Move The Markets

Why It's Important: Both Pfizer and Moderna are on the cusp of applying for emergency use authorization following the accrual of mandated safety data.

Preparations for a smooth launch and distribution need to be made in advance to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

The cold chain requirement for these vaccines has introduced some element of risk. Pfizer's vaccine candidate will require a storage temperature of negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit, which is likely to present logistical challenges.

Moderna's vaccine candidate can be stored at negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit, as reported by CNBC.

Pfizer has an agreement in place to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. government in 2021 for about $1.95 billion, with an option to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses, the statement noted.

PFE Price Action: After declining 5.27% to $35.39 Monday, Pfizer's shares were down 3.72% at $35.97 ahead of the close Tuesday.

Related Link: The Daily Biotech Pulse: Setback For Alkermes, Boston Scientific's Recall, ALX-Zymeworks Oncology Collaboration

Posted In: CoronavirusCovid-19vaccineBiotechNewsHealth CareGeneral

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