The Biden administration is working to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the two COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use, with the goal, the White House says, of having enough vaccine supply for nearly the entire U.S. population by the end of the summer.
The administration says it plans to buy an additional 100 million doses each from both Moderna and Pfizer, which has a vaccine with its German counterpart, BioNTech.
"This increases the total vaccine order for the U.S. by 50%, from 400 million to 600 million with these additional doses expected to deliver this summer," the White House said in a fact sheet it put out before planned remarks from President Biden.
Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require a two-dose regimen per person.
The planned announcement from Biden comes nearly a week into his presidency, and as he has repeated that the rollout of vaccines — to help alleviate the devastating coronavirus pandemic, and to put unemployed Americans back to work — is his top priority. More than 420,000 Americans are now confirmed to have died from COVID-19 — a figure that's likely a severe undercount.
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—Benjamin Swasey, NPR