Company CEO Albert Bourla has said it is “likely” the US will get a coronavirus vaccine treatment to the public before the end of the year.
It is still subject to approval from regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“I cannot say what the FDA will do,” Bourla said. “But I think it’s a likely scenario, and we are preparing for it.”
That scenario includes distributing “hundreds of thousands of doses.”
Pfizer also submitted a proposal to the FDA on Saturday (12 September) that would see its late stage trial expanded, including up to 44,000 participants. This is a significant increase from its previous target of 30,000.
Pfizer is regarded as being among the top three contenders in developing a successful COVID-19 vaccine. The pharmaceutical giant, along with Moderna (MRNA) and AstraZeneca (AZN), are all in the late-stage testing phase.
On 8 September, nine drug companies, including Pfizer, released a joint statement to calm public fears over a vaccine being approved before being adequately tested. They pledged to prioritise safety and “uphold the integrity of the scientific process” as they each developed vaccines.
The announcement follows US president Donald Trump publicly putting pressure on the FDA to fast track a vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said the total number of COVID-19 cases in the US has surpassed 6 million as of 8 September. On Sunday (13 September), it reported that the number of virus-related deaths had risen to 193,195.
The Pfizer share price was around $36 at market close on Friday, with futures pointing higher.