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Pfizer says US government buying 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech said on Friday the U.S. government had purchased an additional 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total number of doses to be supplied to the country to 500 million.

Pfizer says US government buying 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken on Jan 11, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

NEW YORK: Pfizer and German partner BioNTech said on Friday (Jul 23) the US government had purchased 200 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine and had the option to buy an updated version of the vaccine targeting new variants of the virus.

The White House later said that the latest order allows for flexibility if booster shots are later needed.

The announcement brings the total number of the doses to be supplied to the United States to 500 million, out of which roughly 208 million doses have already been delivered, as of Thursday's data from the government.

Pfizer last year signed the deal with the US government for 100 million doses of the vaccine for nearly US$2 billion, with an option to buy 500 million more doses.

READ: Spacing Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shots boosts antibody levels after initial drop: UK study

A majority of the new doses will be supplied by the end of the year, and the remaining 90 million will be delivered by Apr 30 next year, the companies said.

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday the seven-day average of new cases in the United States is up 53 per cent over the previous week. 

The Delta variant, which was first found in India, comprises more than 80 per cent of the new cases nationwide.

READ: South African firm to make Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, first in Africa

Pfizer earlier this month said the companies plan to seek authorisation from US and European regulators for a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

The companies have designed a new version of the vaccine targeting the Delta variant, which they plan to test in the coming weeks, but have said the current vaccine could also provide protection against the variant.

Source: Reuters/ga

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