The US government has purchased 100 million more vaccine doses for COVID-19 to stay ahead of increasing demand.
The Biden Administration bought 100 million more doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, according to a recent news release from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
HHS and the Department of Defense (DOD) have allocated funds for these additional doses to meet the demand for vaccines in the US. With a total of 600 million doses purchased by the US government, the Biden administration remains steadfast in its goal of providing 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days in office.
While the third COVID-19 surge in the US continues to slow, with an estimated 27.5 million Americans currently infected with the virus as of February 15, vaccination has come to the forefront of the pandemic response. The government’s stockpile is enough to fully vaccinate 300 million individuals; Pfizer and Moderna will each be responsible for delivering 300 million doses through the end of July 2021.
HHS, DOD, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) provided $2 billion to Pfizer and another $1.65 billion to Moderna for the additional 100 million doses, bringing the total government investment in the vaccines to $11.75 billion.
Pfizer and Moderna won’t likely remain the only COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers. According to HHS, the government has contracts with 4 other companies to aid in expediting the development and production of their COVID-19 vaccines. Should the FDA offer an emergency use authorization (EUA) to any of the companies for their product, the government will facilitate access to these vaccines as well.
“As the President directed, we are expanding our supply of COVID vaccines to protect people as quickly as possible,” said Acting HHS Secretary Norris Cochran. “These purchases will allow us to accelerate our vaccination efforts to get shots into the arms of the American people. While we rapidly ramp up the pace of vaccinations, I encourage everyone to take actions now to protect themselves and their families: wear a mask, wash your hands often, and practice physical distancing.”