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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.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Over 26K NYC workers remain unvaccinated after Friday deadline

Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Over 26,000 New York City municipal workers are unvaccinated after a Friday deadline to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, AP reports.

Driving the news: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Oct. 20 that covers all of the city's public employees, including police officers and firefighters. Nearly 46,000 unvaccinated employees needed to receive one dose by Friday.

Harris gets COVID-19 booster shot

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images.

Vice President Kamala Harris received a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, while calling on Americans to get vaccinated to "get through and beyond" the pandemic.

Driving the news: The White House said Harris qualifies for a booster shot due to her job duties that include frequent traveling and interacting with people, AP reports.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

1 hopeful thing: Nature is healing

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Getting outside is good for us — especially in a pandemic.

The big picture: Nature's benefits for mental health and well-being are part of the human experience and have been studied for decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic is a real-time experiment in studying exactly how green spaces can help us in difficult times.