Feb 11, 2021 - Health

Biden administration purchases 200 million additional vaccine doses

President Biden in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 11.

President Biden in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 11. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The federal government purchased an additional 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, President Biden announced Thursday during a tour of the National Institutes of Health.

The big picture: Biden said the U.S. is on track to have enough supply of the vaccine to inoculate 300 million Americans by the end of July. That comes out to roughly 600 million doses, boosting "supply in the United States by 50 percent," as first reported by the Washington Post.

Context: The Biden administration said last month that it planned to buy an additional 100 million doses each of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

What they're saying: "We need more people to get vaccinated to beat this pandemic," Biden said Thursday.

  • "We've now purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans, and now we're working to get those vaccines into the arms of people," Biden said after he toured the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the NIH complex that developed the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna.
  • "The new strains emerging create immense challenges, and masking is still the easiest thing to do to save lives," the president added.
  • “As the President directed, we are expanding our supply of COVID vaccines to protect people as quickly as possible,” acting Health and Human Services Secretary Norris Cochran said in a statement.

Of note: It's unlikely the purchase will make the vaccine widely available sooner than originally planned, but it may prevent shortages later this year, per the Post.

Zoom out: The Biden administration announced last week that the first federal mass vaccination sites will open in Oakland and Los Angeles later this month.

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