Biden Has Deal to Increase Vaccine Supply by 50%

President had said last month he was working on it
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2021 4:15 PM CST
Biden to Announce There's 200M Doses on the Way
President Biden arrives to tour a COVID-19 vaccine site at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Jan. 29.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Biden has reached agreement for 200 million more doses of coronavirus vaccine, officials said Thursday. He had said last month that the administration was close to deals for 100 million doses each from Pfizer and Moderna. That would bring the total US supply to 600 million doses, a 50% jump and a sufficient number to vaccinate 300 million people. The increase probably wouldn't make a big difference in when vaccinations become widely available, the Washington Post reports, but it would head off a vaccine shortfall later this year. Moderna had already committed to providing 100 million doses by the end of March and 100 million more by the end of June. Pfizer has said it can come up with 120 million doses by the end of March and 80 million by the end of May—two months earlier than it had projected.

Johnson & Johnson is waiting for federal approval of its vaccine, which could make a difference in the supply come spring, especially since it only requires a single shot. Supply still lags: Los Angeles is shutting down five vaccination sites, including Dodger Stadium. The city is out of Moderna's product. "Our vaccine supply is uneven, it’s unpredictable, and too often inequitable," Mayor Eric Garcetti said, per the New York Times. The city hopes to be able to reopen the centers sometime next week. “We're vaccinating people faster than new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles," Garcetti said. A delivery schedule for the shipments Biden has secured hasn't been announced. Biden toured the National Institutes of Health on Thursday afternoon, per CNBC, and aides said he'd make his announcement there. (Fauci expects plenty of vaccine to be available by April.)

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