The United States government announced that it reached an agreement with Pfizer to buy 100 million more doses of the coronavirus vaccine, developed by that American laboratory and its German partner BioNTech; you will receive them in the second half of 2021.
The announcement came after several weeks of intense negotiations between Pfizer and the government of outgoing US President Donald Trump, and is in addition to the initial order for 100 million doses that have already begun to be distributed and supplied in the country.
Under the agreement, in addition to those initial 100 million, Pfizer will manufacture and deliver to the US “at least 70 million doses by June 30, 2021”, and another 30 million doses at the latest on July 31 of that year . the Pentagon explained in a statement.
Pfizer’s vaccine, the first approved in the US against the coronavirus, requires two doses to immunize, so the new supply agreed by the United States would be enough to inoculate another 50 million of the roughly 330 million inhabitants of the country.
The US government will pay $ 1.95 billion for the additional 100 million doses, Pfizer said in another statement.
The announcement brings the total doses the US will receive of Pfizer’s serum to 200 million, and comes weeks after The New York Times revealed that the Trump administration this summer rejected an offer from Pfizer to buy additional doses of the vaccine. of coronavirus that was developing.
The White House insisted then that it would not have been sensible to buy so many doses when it was not yet known whether Pfizer’s vaccine would be effective against COVID-19, but many in the US were alarmed to learn that the drugmaker might not generate enough units for the country until June 2021, given the commitment it had made with other nations.
The Pentagon and the US Department of Health assured Wednesday that their new agreement with Pfizer “also includes options” to obtain, in the future, “400 million more doses” of serum against COVID-19 from that laboratory.
“This new purchase can give Americans even more confidence that we will have enough supplies to vaccinate all Americans who want it by June 2021 ,” current Health Secretary Alex Azar said in the statement, despite others experts estimate that the vaccination campaign will last well into the year.
In addition to the 200 million doses that it has guaranteed from Pfizer and the 200 million from Moderna -also approved in the country-, the United States has bought 300 million units of the vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca, 100 million from Novavax, 100 million from Sanofi and GSK and another 100 from Johnson and Johnson, so he is confident of having “surpluses,” according to Azar.
The Pentagon and the Health Department also announced on Wednesday another agreement with the German pharmaceutical group Merch to support the development and large-scale manufacturing of its experimental treatment for hospitalized patients with severe coronavirus, known as MK-7110.
The US is the country in the world most affected by COVID-19, with more than 18.2 million cases and more than 322,800 deaths , according to independent data from Johns Hopkins University.