U.S. purchases additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

Feb. 15, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) have purchased an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna to help meet demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, according to a news release from HHS.

The orders bring the vaccines purchased by the U.S. government from these two companies to a total of 600 million doses, enough to vaccinate 300 million people. Each company is delivering 300 million doses in regular increments through the end of July 2021. Each company will leverage U.S.-based manufacturing capacity to fill, finish, and ship vials as the bulk material is produced.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, collaborated with the DOD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (and Army Contracting Command to provide approximately $2 billion for the additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, bringing the total purchase from Pfizer to approximately $6 billion.

BARDA, JPEO-CBRND and Army Contracting Command also collaborated to provide up to approximately $1.65 billion to Moderna, bringing the total federal investment in Moderna’s vaccine development, clinical trials, manufacturing, and the purchase of vaccines to approximately $5.75 billion. Moderna’s vaccine was co-developed with scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, with NIAID also supporting the vaccine’s nonclinical studies and clinical trials. BARDA supported phase 2/3 clinical trials, vaccine manufacturing scale up and other development activities for this vaccine.

The clinical studies of both vaccines are ongoing to gather additional data such as the vaccines’ efficacy in younger populations, the duration of immunity after vaccination, and the impact of vaccination on transmissibility of the virus.

Messenger RNA vaccines take advantage of the process that cells use to make proteins in order to trigger an immune response and build immunity to a virus. In contrast, most vaccines use weakened or inactivated versions or components of a disease-causing virus to stimulate the body’s immune response to create antibodies.

HHS and DOD have contracted with four other companies to expedite development and production of vaccines that use a variety of vaccine platform technologies and are manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine doses while clinical trials are underway. If any of these other vaccine candidates are authorized by the FDA for emergency use, HHS and DOD can negotiate agreements with the respective companies to purchase additional vaccine doses to meet the demand in the United States.

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