Sunday, October 24, 2021

Pfizer will soon make some workers re-apply for their jobs

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The C.D.C. just disclosed the winner of its ongoing clinical trial on just which workers at BioNTech would be offered both a job and health coverage from Pfizer, including a preference to people on the drug maker’s no-profit committee.

The C.D.C. has run more than 100,000 tests to discern whose jobs are at risk of closure and whose won’t be.

Last week the agency publicly disclosed — again — which if any of its early job losers and their insurance problems would be handed a choice: Accept Pfizer’s offer of both insurance and a job at Pfizer and collect both, or wait until all employees’ problems are resolved.

Pfizer agreed to the C.D.C.’s condition so as not to subject BioNTech, which is mostly funded by taxpayers, to undue financial pressure, according to an agency memo that later appeared in the Federal Register.

Staffers for BioNTech had questioned the propriety of the C.D.C.’s rigid and time-consuming decision-making process, especially because competitors to BioNTech — Allergan and Merck — offered similar benefits to their former workers.

Pfizer considered the matter settled: BioNTech workers would be provided with health benefits from Dec. 1, 2018, to June 30, 2027, according to the memo, and Pfizer agreed not to challenge other outcomes like the now-ending trials or contract awards to win enough Health & Human Services funds to maintain its funding obligations to BioNTech workers.

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