President Joe Biden’s administration has secured the purchase of an additional 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the White House announced Thursday.
The administration announced in January that it was “working to purchase” an additional 100 million doses each from Pfizer and Moderna. That effort is now successful, raising the total number of doses at the nation’s disposal to 600 million doses through the summer of 2021. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses per person, however, meaning the vault of doses is enough to cover 300 million Americans. Biden said those all 600 million doses should be distributed by “the end of July.” (RELATED: Joe Biden Holds First Call With Vladimir Putin, Presses On Hacking Attacks, Navalny Arrest)
“Just this afternoon we signed final contracts for 100 million more Moderna and 100 million more Pfizer vaccines,” Biden said during a Thursday speech at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “We were also able to move up the delivery dates with an additional 200 million vaccines to the end of July, faster than we expected.”
“Both companies agreed and are now contractually obligated, to expedite the delivery of 100 million doses that were promised by the end of June — to deliver them by the end of May,” he added.
Biden also criticized former President Donald Trump, arguing the previous administration had not adequately planned for distributing vaccines.
Speaking at the National Institutes of Health, Biden says, “While scientists did their job in discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor — I’ll be very blunt about it — did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 11, 2021
Biden also called it a “patriotic responsibility” for Americans to wear masks at all times. He chose to wear a mask throughout the speech despite being socially distanced from the audience and other officials.