The United States Government on Wednesday signed a deal worth $1.97 Billion for the development and early procurement of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate is currently undergoing human trials and the deal raises hopes for quicker development. 

Pfizer Inc and German biotech firm BioNTech SE are the companies set to receive the funding for the vaccine candidate named BNT162, following approval or authorisation for use from the FDA. The companies also added in a statement that the US government has an option to purchase 500 million extra doses, as well. 

Currently there are 165 potential COVID-19 vaccines being developed around the world. Out of these 27 are undergoing human trials, including 2 by Indian firms Zydus Cadilla and Bharat Biotech.

The press release also said that the BNT162 program, which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology, is showing great promise in human trials. The companies expect to seek approval as early as October and aim to produce 100 million doses by the end of 2020. A total of 1.3 Billion doses are expected to be produced by the end of 2021.

There is hope at the end of the line, with more and more vaccine candidates around the world showing promise. All the world nations are racing to develop and procure vaccines to bring an end to the pandemic, and it is clear that the first to do so will reap all potential benefits. India, with its own strong set of Pharma companies, is a forerunner in the race towards the end.

You can read the complete press release by Pfizer-BioNTech here.