CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — Pfizer's research and development facility in Chesterfield will help produce a potential vaccine for COVID-19.
"It is our sincere belief to beat this pandemic, it will take science and creativity along with the determined will of passionate researchers," said Pfrizer Vice President Christine Smith, the head of the Chesterfield location.
Smith was invited to make the announcement during Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's COVID-19 briefing Thursday.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech started human trials for the COVID-19 vaccine program, called BNT162, this week in the U.S. The dosing of the first human cohort in Germany was completed this week, Smith said.
Watch the full announcement with Smith and Gov. Parson by clicking play on the video below.
Smith said scientists will manufacture a "template" for the vaccine in Chesterfield. Other steps in the process to manufacture the vaccine will occur in Michigan and Massachusetts.
Researchers in Chesterfield are also developing processes and methods to produce large quantities of the vaccine — if the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, Smith said.
She added that Pfizer is scaling up its manufacturing capacity and development infrastructure to make the vaccine as quickly as possible. The company has the potential to supply millions of doses of the vaccine by the end of 2020 and produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021 — if the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective and has regulatory approval.
"We are more than 500 strong in Chesterfield and we will continue to work on the vaccine of which we are giving the utmost urgency," she said.
Gov. Parson said he would be proud if an effective vaccine was developed and manufactured here.
"I thank you for everybody working there and helping our country right now," he said.
Earlier this week, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced that a Pfizer location in the county had been selected to produce a vaccine, but did not specify exactly where.