Pfizer, one of the drug makers racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine, on Tuesday backtracked after distancing itself from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.
Pfizer on Monday said an early analysis of its trial suggested the vaccine was robustly effective in preventing the coronavirus – an announcement quickly followed by tweets from several Trump administration officials taking credit for its development.
"HUGE NEWS: Thanks to the public-private partnership forged by President @realDonaldTrump, @pfizer announced its Coronavirus Vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90% of its volunteers," Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Monday.
“Thanks to the tireless work of Operation Warp Speed and the partnership it struck with Pfizer, HHS & the Military in July to support distribution + logistics, Pfizer can massively scale production and nationwide delivery of +100 M doses of the vaccine!” Ivanka Trump tweeted.
Pfizer did not accept federal money for research into a coronavirus vaccine and Kathrin Jansen, the company’s vice president for vaccine research, told the New York Times it was never “part of the Warp Speed. We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”
But the company in July agreed to sell at least 100 million doses of its vaccine to the federal government for $1.95 billion.
Pfizer spokesperson Sharon Castillo on Tuesday told CNN that the company is indeed part of Operation Warp Speed.
"Pfizer is one of various vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential COVID-19 vaccine," Castillo said in an email. "While Pfizer did reach an advanced purchase agreement with the U.S. government, the company did not accept (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) funding for the research and development process. All the investment for R&D was made by Pfizer at risk. Dr. Jansen was emphasizing that last point."
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