The departments of Health and Human Services and Defense have earmarked $3.65 billion to buy 100 million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines each from Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA), bringing the total number of vaccines bought from the companies to 600 million doses.
The U.S. government agreed to pay $2 billion to Pfizer and its Germany-based partner BioNTech and $1.65 billion to Moderna for the additional doses, HHS said Wednesday.
Each company is scaling up manufacturing to deliver 300 million doses of vaccines through the end of July and the additional purchases would give the U.S. enough supply to deliver shots to 300 million people.
“As the President directed, we are expanding our supply of COVID vaccines to protect people as quickly as possible,” said acting HHS Secretary Norris Cochran. “These purchases will allow us to accelerate our vaccination efforts to get shots into the arms of the American people.”
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at HHS worked with DOD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command to provide funding for the deals.
The agreement for additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines brings the total vaccine purchase from the partnership to about $6 billion.
The deal with Moderna increases the total federal investment in the company’s vaccine development efforts, clinical trials, production and procurements to about $5.75 billion. The biotech company co-developed the vaccine with scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The companies continue to carry out clinical studies of their vaccines to collect additional data on the efficacy of the doses in younger populations and vaccination’s impact on the virus’ transmissibility, among others.