Biden Admin Announces Plan To Purchase 200 Mil More COVID Vaccine Doses

Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)
Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are moved to the loading dock for shipping at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

The Biden administration is planning on purchasing COVID-19 vaccine doses for 100 million more Americans, White House officials announced on Tuesday.

The total amount — 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine and 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine — is slated to be delivered over the summer. An administration official declined to specify exactly when the doses would be available.

Of the two vaccines that have received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the purchase would mean that the government will have acquired enough shots to inoculate 300 million Americans against the deadly virus.

Johnson & Johnson is expected to have trial data for its vaccine available next week. The Trump administration agreed to buy 100 million doses of the one-shot vaccine in August 2020.

The distribution effort has seen problems since vaccinations began on Dec. 14.

Under the Trump administration, the federal government largely left it to the states to determine how to administer the vaccine. Congress did not pass funding for the distribution effort until late December, causing slowdowns in the vaccination campaign.

At the same time, fluctuating totals in vaccine allocations have confounded states at a time when many are starting to run out of the supplies that have been delivered.

One White House official said that the Biden HHS would increase supplies by 20 percent for the next three weeks to the states, from a minimum of 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million doses per week delivered.

The White House also plans on deploying 100 federally run vaccination sites around the country over the next month.

But one Biden administration health official said that additional money and legislation from Congress would be needed to accelerate vaccinations.

“This is more like an orchestra than a solo, and everyone has to do their part — including Congress,” the official said.
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