The Biden Administration has purchased 200 million additional doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to prepare for the possibility of children being eligible to be vaccinated and to administer booster shots to vaccinated Americans, should they be deemed necessary.
“The federal government is exercising an option in its contract with Pfizer to purchase 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be delivered between fall 2021 and spring 2022 to prepare for future vaccination needs, including vaccines for children under 12 and possible booster shots if studies show they are necessary,” a White House official told CNN.
The government is waiting for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to verify if it is safe for children under 12 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are conducting clinical trials to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on children under the age of 12. Data will not be available until September.
“Very likely when you do the age de-escalation study — so we’ve gone from 12 to nine, nine to six, six to two and then six months to two years — likely by late fall, early winter, we’ll have enough data,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Thursday at a Senate hearing. “But that doesn’t mean that then it’s all of a sudden going to be allowed to happen. That will be a regulatory decision that the FDA will have to make.”
The United States has purchased 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Last month, the Biden Administration announced that they were seeking to purchase an additional 500 million vaccine doses for impoverished countries.
“As a long-term partner to the U.S. government in the fight against the pandemic, we are proud of the impact of vaccination efforts across the country. Vaccines have been and will remain critical to protecting lives against this devastating disease,” Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said. “These additional doses will help the U.S. government ensure broad vaccine access into the next year.”
“It has been our consistent goal to supply as many doses of our COVID-19 vaccine as possible to people around the world to help bring an end to this pandemic,” Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO, and Co-founder of BioNTech, said. “We are honored to support the U.S. and more than 100 countries in their continuing vaccination programs.”