President Biden said Thursday with the finalization of deals for another 200 million doses of the two coronavirus vaccines, authorized in the United States. By the end of July, there would be enough vaccine supply to cover every American adult, Washington Post reported.
His remarks came following a tour of the National Institutes of Health. Biden announced the federal government had purchased 100 million more doses from Pfizer and German company BioNTech, as also 100 million more from Moderna, using options that formed part of contracts with those companies.
The announcement came in an emotional address from Biden, who spoke through his mask to make a point, calling it a “patriotic responsibility” to wear one.
Biden Administration Finalizes Deals For Another 200 Million Coronavirus Vaccines By The End Of July
He added that the US remained in the teeth of the pandemic, observing that January was the deadliest month of the pandemic, in which Americans saw more than 100,000 of their fellow citizens die. He added mutations of the virus posed new challenges, even as infections and hospitalizations began to decline.
Biden recalled a conversation he had with a nurse staffing an Arizona vaccination site. He added, she described inoculating people against the coronavirus was like administering a dose of hope.
He promised his administration would get those doses of hope out.
Access to shots would not expand with the new deals, commentators noted. The shots which remain in short supply throughout the US, primarily served to prevent a shortfall later in the year, boosting supply by 50 percent, which would bring the total to 600 million doses.
That would be enough to vaccinate 300 million people, given that both products were two-dose regimens. An estimated 260 million people in the United States were currently considered eligible for the vaccine shots, but the numbers could increase with trials involving children as young as 12.
Pfizer and Moderna, between them, had already agreed to provide 400 million doses to the United States and Biden added some of those doses would be delivered sooner than anticipated. This would guarantee enough supply by the end of May to vaccinate 200 million people under the two-dose protocols. Pfizer had already advanced the doses’ delivery schedule, and according to a Moderna spokesman, the Cambridge-based company could do the same.
Confirming the purchase, Moderna said in a statement that it was working with its domestic manufacturing partners and federal regulators to work on accelerating delivery to provide this new order of 100 million doses before the end of July 2021. Amy Rose, Pfizer spokeswoman, confirmed the purchase and also the timeline outlined by Biden.
Commentators pointed out that in securing the additional doses, the government had to use options built into contracts that the Trump had ministration had negotiated last year. Biden had last month said he would seek the additional doses as part of a strategy to double down on the two vaccines that had already won federal clearance and not count the possible availability of candidates from other companies by the time.
Having vowed to make additional doses available by the end of July, the president went on to point out that delivery would be “faster than we expected.” His advisers had earlier indicated an anticipated summer delivery. According to Trump administration officials, they were operating under the assumption of a quarterly schedule, with an additional tranche possible by August or September.