The US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Defense have signed contracts with leading coronavirus vaccine companies – Moderna and Pfizer – to supply another 200 million doses of vaccines to the country.
President Joe Biden said this during a visit to the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health in the suburbs of Washington, according to Reuters.
Biden criticized the vaccination program, which was developed by the previous administration under the leadership of Donald Trump, and urged US residents to “be patient” and wait for the Biden administration to correct the shortcomings in the development of the program.
Trump “did not do his job” in preparation for vaccinating Americans, Biden said.
Serious miscalculations were made by the previous administration – in particular, not enough doses were ordered to vaccinate the majority of US residents, the president said.
“We won’t be able to fix everything anytime soon, but we will fix everything,” Biden said.
The president said his administration has already signed contracts for 100 million doses of Moderna vaccine and another 100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine.
“And the good news is that both companies have agreed – and it is now contracted – to expedite the delivery of the 100 million doses that were promised by the end of June and deliver them by the end of May,” Biden said. – It’s a month faster. This means lives will be saved. “
By the end of July, another 300 million doses of vaccines will be delivered to the United States, the president promised, and in total both companies will supply 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 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 vaccine.
Each of the companies will use manufacturing facilities in the United States to fill, pack and ship the 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 United States to supply 200 million doses. The company said earlier this month that it plans to complete these deliveries by May, rather than July, as previously thought.
Moderna also has a 200 million dose contract with the United States.
State governments complain that demand for vaccines is outstripping supply. The administration previously said it is using the Defense Manufacturing Act to help Pfizer meet its vaccine production targets.
The Biden administration is also engaging the military in the vaccine administration and setting up mass vaccination centers throughout the United States.
The administration announced Wednesday that it will partner with Texas authorities to build three new municipal vaccination centers in Dallas, Arlington and Houston.
US officials are hoping shipments will increase after Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine receives an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, which could happen as early as this month.
The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Vaccines for February 26. During this meeting, the experts will discuss the vaccine and it can be registered the next day.