105 Mil Doses of Pfizer COVID Jabs Secured by the US for Fall

The United States signed an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech securing 105 million doses of COVID-19 jabs for Americans this fall, the Biden administration informed on Thursday.

Emphasizing that this is an important first step by the US in preparing for the fall, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement that the Biden administration is committed to take every step necessary to continue making the vaccines free and widely available to all Americans.

Signed between the two companies and the US health and defense departments, the $3.2 billion deal includes vaccines for babies, young children, teens, and adults but may also include the new omicron-specific jabs that the panel of FDA experts recommended on Tuesday to be used in the US’s next major booster push.

Though they are effective against the latest COVID variant, the two updated vaccines of Pfizer and BioNTech – one targeting just Omicron, one combining that strain with the original virus – are slightly less effective against its subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

Pfizer and BioNTech said that the contract enables the US to procure up to 300 million doses of vaccine and its delivery should begin in late summer and continue into the fourth quarter of 2022.

The Biden administration has asked in the meantime the US Congress for $23.5 billion in additional COVID-19 funding, but since the bill has not yet been passed, the federal government was forced to pull billions of dollars from COVID-19 response efforts as a result, and reallocate $10 billion in existing funding for procuring the new vaccines, the statement said.

According to the previous statements from the White House officials, future vaccines might only be given for free to those at highest risk without new funding.

However, it seems that the Biden administration will have a bigger issue with actually convincing people to get them since only 47% of the Americans have received the full jab regimen and one booster shot, while nearly 80% percent of eligible Americans have received at least one dose.

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