Moderna and Pfizer also agreed to accelerate delivery of previously promised 100 million doses
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense have signed contracts with leading coronavirus vaccine companies Moderna and Pfizer to deliver another 200 million doses of vaccines to the country.
President Joe Biden made the announcement during a visit to the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health in suburban Washington, D.C., Reuters reported.
Biden criticized the vaccination program, which was developed by the previous administration under Donald Trump, and called on U.S. residents to “be patient” and wait for the Biden administration to correct the flaws in the development of the program.
According to Biden, Trump “failed to do his job” in preparing to vaccinate Americans.
The previous administration made serious miscalculations – in particular, not ordering enough doses to vaccinate most U.S. residents, the president said.
“We won’t be able to fix everything anytime soon, but we will fix it,” Biden said.
The president said his administration has already signed contracts to receive 100 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and another 100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine.
“And the other good news is that both companies have agreed — and it’s now contracted — to accelerate delivery of the 100 million doses that were promised by the end of June and deliver them by the end of May,” Biden said. – That’s a month faster. That means lives will be saved.
Another 300 million doses of vaccines will be delivered to the United States by the end of July, the president has promised, and the two companies will deliver a total of 600 million doses to the United States — enough to vaccinate 300 million people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 34.7 million of the 331 million Americans have received at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 11.2 million of them have already received a second dose.
Each of the companies will use U.S. manufacturing facilities to fill, package, and ship vials as the vaccine is ready, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a separate statement.
Pfizer already has a contract with the U.S. to supply 200 million doses. Earlier this month, the company said it plans to complete those shipments by May, not July as previously anticipated.
Moderna also has a contract with the U.S. for 200 million doses.
State authorities complain that demand for the vaccines exceeds supply. The administration has previously said it will use the Defense Production Act to help Pfizer meet its vaccine production goals.
The Biden administration is also involving the military in the vaccine administration process and establishing mass vaccination centers across the United States.
On Wednesday, the administration announced that it would partner with authorities in Texas to build three new municipal vaccination centers in Dallas, Arlington and Houston.
U.S. officials hope supplies will increase after Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine receives emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which could happen as soon as this month.
The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccine Advisory Committee for Feb. 26. During that meeting, experts will discuss the vaccine, and it could be registered the next day.