Pfizer announced Monday the U.S. COVID-19 Immunization Pilot Program with four states, to help refine the plan for the delivery and deployment of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The four states – Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee – were selected for the program because of their differences in overall size, diversity of populations, and immunization infrastructure, as well as the states’ need to reach individuals in varied urban and rural settings. The four states included in this pilot program will not receive vaccine doses earlier than other states by virtue of this pilot, nor will they receive any differential consideration.

Pfizer has been working with U.S. officials in Operation Warp Speed and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help ensure that after potential authorization or approval, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can reach those in most need as quickly and equitably as possible.

“This pilot program and our collaboration with U.S. and state officials will help us prepare for broader vaccine deployment in the near future, subject to authorization or approval, as we work to address this urgent public health need,” said Angela Hwang, Group President, Pfizer Bio Group President, Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group. “We are hopeful that results from this vaccine delivery pilot will serve as the model for other U.S. states and international governments, as they prepare to implement effective COVID-19 vaccine programs.”

In July, Pfizer and BioNTech announced the execution of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to meet the U.S. government’s OWS program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021. Under the agreement, the U.S. government will first receive 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after Pfizer successfully manufactures and obtains approval or emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. government will pay $1.95 billion for those first 100 million doses, with the option to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.