The Best Deals

Written by SK Ashby

Although the Trump regime tried to take credit for the announcement, Pfizer -- the first pharmaceutical company to announce the results of a coronavirus vaccine trial -- did not participate in Trump's "Operation Warp Speed" program. The United States government pre-ordered doses of a vaccine from Pfizer but did not contribute any funding to their research.

The European Union did contribute to Pfizer's research and development in partnership with the World Health Organization (WTO) that Trump unilaterally withdrew from, however, and that is now going to afford them certain benefits.

Mainly, the European Union is going to pay less for each dose of Pfizer's vaccine.

Under the EU deal, 27 European countries could buy 200 million doses, and have an option to purchase another 100 million.

The bloc will pay less than $19.50 per shot, a senior EU official involved in talks with vaccine makers told Reuters, adding that partly reflected the financial support given by the EU and Germany for the drug’s development. [...]

The United States agreed to pay $19.50 per shot for 100 million doses, a smaller volume than the EU. But it has an option to buy a further 500 million under terms to be negotiated separately, and the price it will pay is unclear.

I was not aware that the U.S. only placed an order for 100 million doses and that explains Pfizer's announcement that they would have enough doses to cover just 15 percent of Americans by the spring. Pfizer's vaccine requires two doses and 100 million doses is only equal to about 50 million vaccinations.

The Trump regime is apparently holding out to purchase more doses from other companies that actually participated in "Operation Warp Speed," but none of them have announced the results of their trials yet. Moderna, which did participate in Trump's program, is expected to announce results near the end of this month per their own statements.

In short, we're going to pay more money, and securing enough doses of a vaccine may take longer, because of Trump's ego and his exertion of control over vaccine development.

He wanted to take credit for it so much, he may have gotten us the shittiest deal in the process. Vaccinating the world will require billions of doses from various drugmakers, but Trump's folly could mean we'll be waiting a little longer to vaccinate most of the United States.

There's no doubt in my mind that the average European will receive a vaccine before we do, or at least before I do, and not just because they have universal health care systems. The Biden administration will have to play catch-up to other countries who've had competent leaders all along.

The European Union has also secured deals with other drugmakers for even lower prices although they have not reproduced Pfizer's results yet.

French drugmaker Sanofi, which is working with GlaxoSmithKline as a partner, has agreed with the EU a price of about 10 euros ($11.8) per dose and did not get any liability waiver, while AstraZeneca would pay claims only up to a certain threshold if something goes wrong with its vaccine in exchange for a price of 2.5 euro per dose, an official told Reuters in September.