Jul 23, 2021 - Health

U.S. buys additional 200 million doses of Pfizer vaccine

Pfizer vaccine vial

Photo: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. government has purchased an additional 200 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be delivered from October 2021 through April 2022, the companies announced Friday.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is continuing to expand its arsenal of vaccine doses as it seeks to help vaccinate the world and potentially deliver booster shots to U.S. citizens if it becomes necessary.

  • The U.S. has now purchased 500 million of the 600 million possible doses negotiated between the Trump administration and Pfizer and BioNtech in July 2020.
  • The purchase is separate from an agreement announced last month for Pfizer and BioNTech to provide the U.S. with 500 million vaccine doses to help vaccinate the world's poorest countries.

What they're saying: The 200 million doses the administration is exercising in its contract is to “prepare for future vaccination needs, including vaccines for children under 12 and possible booster shots if studies show they are necessary," according to a senior Biden administration official.

Between the lines: The announcement notes that the U.S. has the option to "acquire an updated version of the vaccine to address potential variants as well as new formulations of the vaccine, if available and authorized."

  • Also as part of the agreement, Pfizer will provide the U.S. with 65 million pediatric doses should Pfizer’s vaccine be authorized for kids under 12.
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