As part of measures to strengthen its emergency response, the US has purchased an additional 100 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against coronavirus for administration to its citizens and curb fatalities being recorded to the virus in the country.
It indicated that the newly purchased vaccines would bring the nation’s COVID-19 supply to 400 million doses — half from Pfizer and half from Moderna — allowing the country to immunize 200 million people under the two-shot regimens.
The Pentagon, housing the United States Department of Defense, said that the country would take delivery of the newly purchased vaccine by July 2021.
“Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will deliver at least 70 million doses by June 30, 2021, with the balance of the 100 million doses to be delivered no later than July 31, 2021,” the defense department said in a statement on Wednesday.
The agreement, which comes after reports the Trump administration had passed on the opportunity to secure more supply of the shot, “also includes options for an additional 400 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine,” the defense department statement added.
The US is hoping to immunize 20 million people this month, with long-term care residents and health workers at the front of the line.
On Sunday, an expert committee said that people 75 and older should be the next vaccinated along with 30 million “frontline essential workers,” including teachers, grocery store employees, and police.
“This new federal purchase can give Americans even more confidence that we will have enough supply to vaccinate every American who wants it by June 2021,” Health Secretary, Alex Azar, said in the statement.