US Now Has Orders for Enough Vaccine for 500M

Biden says another 100M doses of J&J vaccine have been ordered
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2021 4:47 PM CST
Biden Orders 100M More J&J Vaccine Doses
President Biden, accompanied by Johnson and Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky, left, and Merck Chairman and CEO Kenneth Frazier, right, speaks at a White House event, Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The federal government now has orders in place for almost enough coronavirus vaccine doses to fully vaccinate every eligible American adult—twice. President Biden announced Wednesday that the government has ordered another 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose coronavirus vaccine, bringing the total orders for that vaccine to 200 million, the Washington Post reports. Orders are also in for 600 million doses of the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Together, the orders from the three companies will give the US enough vaccine for 500 million people, when around 260 million adults are eligible. Biden said the extra vaccine was needed for "maximum flexibility." "There is always a chance we will encounter unexpected challenges," he said.

"There is light at the end of this dark tunnel of this past year, but we cannot let our guard down now or assume victory is inevitable," Biden said Wednesday, per CNN. "Together we're going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier and more hopeful future." He spoke alongside the CEOs of Johnson & Johnson and rival firm Merck, which is helping manufacture the doses under a deal brokered by the White House. Biden said that if the US ends up having a surplus, it will share vaccine doses with other countries, but "we're going to start off making sure Americans are taken care of first." (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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