The White House has officially secured an additional 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, President Joe Biden announced on Thursday.
The president, who made the announcement during his tour at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on Thursday, said the government earlier this afternoon formalized its contract with Pfizer and German company BioNTech, the maker of the first COVID-19 vaccine to see emergency use approval in the U.S., for an additional 100 million doses. The government also formalized its contract with Moderna, the maker of the second vaccine to see emergency use approval, for an additional 100 million doses.
In the race to vaccinate Americans as quickly as possible, the additional doses will be used to innoculate some 300 million people by the end of July, Biden said, as both jabs require two doses.
Overall, the 200 million, newly acquired doses will increase the country’s vaccine supply by about 50%, to 600 million total doses.
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The president when making the announcement also said that Pfizer and Moderna are slated to deliver a previous order of 200 million doses by late May, a month sooner than initially expected. The country is also on track to meet the administration’s goal of vaccinating 100 million people in its first 100 days, he noted.
“We have now purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans,” Biden said.
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The news comes after Biden late last month indicated that his administration was attempting to secure the additional 200 million doses, though an agreement had not been formalized at the time.
To date, 34.7 million people have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna jab, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).