By Riley Griffin; December 7, 2020, 7:52 PM EST
- Government could have bought 100 million more shots: WaPo
- Pfizer, Moderna can provide more doses in spring or summer
U.S. officials insisted they’ll have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to let most Americans get inoculated by next summer, downplaying reports that they passed up a chance to secure more of Pfizer Inc.’s shot.
The Trump administration is confident that the U.S. will have enough supply to vaccinate everyone, a senior administration official said Monday on a call with reporters. The government signed a deal last summer to obtain 100 million doses of Pfizer’s experimental vaccine with partner BioNTech — enough for 50 million people, given the two-dose regimen — and also has agreements in place with Moderna Inc., AstraZeneca Plc, Johnson & Johnson and others.
But only the shots made by Pfizer and Moderna are likely to be cleared by the Food and Drug Administration this month, while the others are still awaiting further trial data and could take months longer to be granted emergency-use authorizations. The U.S. government’s agreement with Moderna is also for 100 million doses, so the two deals would give the country enough supply to vaccinate 100 million people before it would need more from either company or a third provider.
Pfizer has told the Trump administration that the U.S. would have to wait until June or July to get more of its vaccine, since it’s done deals with other countries and must deliver doses to them first, the Washington Post reported Monday. Pfizer offered to sell the government 200 million doses last summer, but the administration opted for half of that, the Post said.
Moderna could provide more doses to the U.S. in the second quarter of 2021, or perhaps a limited portion in the first quarter, a spokesperson for the company said Monday.