US Purchases Additional Cache of Vaccines

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The US has cut a deal with Pfizer for another 100 million doses.

For the initial deal with Pfizer and BioNTech, the United States government secured at least 100 million doses of the newly developed COVID-19 vaccine. Compared to the overall population of the United States, 100 million doses can only be used to inoculate 50 million people, as every vaccination is made up of two separate shots. After the government met with criticism over not securing more doses, especially since Pfizer has deals with other countries that need the vaccine as well, they once again began negotiations for an additional order of vaccines.

After a lengthy negotiation, the US and Pfizer have struck a new deal on top of the previous one to secure an additional 100 million doses of the vaccine for a $1.95 billion payment. This will bring the total of the United States’ vaccine cache to 200 million doses, enough to completely inoculate 100 million people. However, these new doses will take time to manufacture, with around 70 million of them projected to be ready by the end of June 2021, and the remaining 30 million by the end of the following July.

“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,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Wednesday.

On top of the now 200 million Pfizer vaccines, the US also has 200 million doses of Moderna’s recently approved vaccine on the way as well. With these two caches combined, the US should be able to inoculate 200 million people, approximately two-thirds of the US population. Pfizer has not divulged how exactly it will increase overall production of their vaccine to account for the doubled order, and as a result, rumors have begun circulating that the company is facing some manner of manufacturing issues. Pfizer has denied these rumors, assuring all that everything is still on schedule.

“Pfizer has not had any production issues with its COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed,” a spokesperson said.

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