Government agrees to buy additional Pfizer COVID vaccines

Government agrees to buy additional Pfizer COVID vaccines

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it will buy an additional 100 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, ensuring that every American who wants to be vaccinated can be by June.

The announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services said that Pfizer will manufacture and deliver up to 100 million doses of the vaccine to government-designated locations. This comes on top of the 100 million doses already purchased by the U.S. government.

Under the agreement, Pfizer will deliver at least 70 million doses by the end of June and 30 million by the end of July. This expands the total number of Pfizer vaccine doses purchased by the federal government to 200 million, HHS said.

“Securing more doses from Pfizer and BioNTech for delivery in the second quarter of 2021 further expands our supply of doses across the Operation Warp Speed portfolio,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Wednesday. “This new federal purchase can give Americans even more confidence that we will have enough supply to vaccinate every American who wants it by June 2021.”

The incoming Biden administration will be responsible, however, for disseminating the vaccine to the public next year. Biden takes office Jan. 20.

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use, and it was delivered to many health care facilities last week for the first shots to be administered to front-line workers. The FDA then approved a similar Covid-19 vaccine from the biotechnology company Moderna last week and distribution began on Monday.

The administration’s new agreement comes as hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. wait to be vaccinated. Earlier this month, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner and a member of Pfizer’s board of directors, said that the White House had declined “multiple” offers from the company to strike a deal on more vaccine doses for the second quarter of 2021.