Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
The federal government is planning for a potential rise in COVID-19 cases this fall and is setting aside $3.2 billion for 105 million doses of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine.
The deal announced this week would let the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services buy an additional 195 million doses.
“Over the past 18 months, we have procured and delivered more than 750 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine nationwide, contributing to two-thirds of American adults being fully vaccinated,” said Dawn O’Connell, HHS assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response.
Omicron variants are spreading across the country and could spark a surge in the coming months.
“We look forward to taking delivery of these new variant-specific vaccines and working with state and local health departments, pharmacies, health care providers, federally qualified health centers, and other partners to make them available in communities around the country this fall,” said O’Connell.
Advisers told the FDA this week that vaccine manufacturers should prepare doses to fight the Omicron variant.
The additional Pfizer shots, for adults and children alike, should be available by early fall, according to the HHS.
“Vaccines have been a game-changer in our fight against COVID-19, allowing people to return to normal activities knowing that vaccines protect from severe illness,” said Xavier Becerra, HHS secretary, in the news release. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to doing everything we can to continue to make vaccines free and widely available to Americans – and this is an important first step to preparing us for the fall.”
The administration has been struggling with Congress about future funding for the COVID-19 fight. This new vaccine purchase will be paid for from $10 billion that was reallocated for current response efforts.
HHS: “Biden-Harris Administration secures 105 million doses of Pfizer’s latest COVID-19 vaccine for fall vaccination campaign.”
Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Agrees to Pay $3.2 Billion for More Pfizer Covid Vaccines.”
CNN: “Biden administration reaches agreement to purchase 105 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.”
Source: Read Full Article