US drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, agreed Wednesday to supply an additional 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses to the US.
The agreement will bring the total to 200 million and all doses will be produced by American manufacturing facilities, the companies said in a statement. The doses are expected to be delivered by July 31, allowing 100 million people in the US to be vaccinated.
Under the agreement, Washington will pay $1.95 billion for the additional doses.
"With these 100 million additional doses, the United States will be able to protect more individuals and hopefully end this devastating pandemic more quickly,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. "We look forward to continuing our work with the U.S. government and healthcare providers around the country."
Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary Alex Azar said the new purchase will give Americans "even more confidence that we will have enough supply to vaccinate every American who wants it by June 2021."
"We regard the U.S. government’s order of additional doses from their vaccine contingent as a clear sign of confidence and trust in our vaccine and our ability to deliver," said Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech.
"Our goal remains to bring a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as we can all around the world," Sahin added.
The statement noted that the US has the option to acquire an additional 400 million doses.
Eligible US residents will continue to receive the vaccine for free.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first to be acquired by emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. It was followed by Moderna's vaccine which received the green light Friday.
The US registered more than 18.2 million coronavirus-related cases and nearly 323,000 deaths, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.
By Beyza Binnur Donmez