- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2021

President Biden is pushing a planned Thursday trip to a Pfizer facility in Michigan back a day with an expected winter storm brewing in the Washington, D.C., region.

Mr. Biden is now planning to tour the Pfizer manufacturing site on Friday and meet with workers producing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer, a leading drugmaker based in New York City, developed the vaccine with German company BioNTech, a pioneer in messenger-RNA therapies.

The two-dose vaccine proved about 95% effective in staving off disease, validating the mRNA platform and paving the way for emergency approval of the vaccine on Dec. 11.

A similar vaccine, from Moderna, was approved a week later.

The pair of vaccines remain the only ones approved for use in the U.S., though Johnson & Johnson could earn approval of its adenovirus vaccine by early March.

Pfizer’s version was the first COVID-19 vaccine approved in the West. The U.K. started using it in early December, beating the U.S. by several days.

Unlike other companies, Pfizer did not accept federal assistance from the Trump administration under “Operation Warp Speed,” though it did enter a purchasing agreement last summer to supply the U.S. government with doses.

The Biden administration recently used the Defense Production Act to make sure Pfizer gets certain pieces of equipment ahead of other companies as it churns out vaccines.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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