Jan 4, 2022 - Health

U.S. will buy 20 million of Pfizer's COVID pill, doubling previous order

President Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. will buy 20 million courses of Pfizer's COVID antiviral pill Paxlovid, effectively doubling its previous order of 10 million.

Why it matters: Data released by Pfizer in December showed that the pill reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in high-risk adults.

  • The pill was also granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration late last month.
  • In a statement on Twitter, the president lauded the pills as a "game-changer" in fighting the pandemic.

What they're saying: "I'm pleased to say that on Christmas Eve, we shipped out the first batch of these pills that we received," Biden said. "And more will be shipped this week."

  • "The United States has more pills than any other country in the world and our supply is going to ramp up over the coming months, as more of these pills are manufactured," he added.
  • "Today, I'm directing my team to work with Pfizer to double our order, from 10 million to 20 million treatment courses, to be delivered in the months ahead."
  • "We may need even more than that. That's the estimate we need right now," Biden said, adding that the U.S. had already placed the largest order in the world.
Go deeper