US Gov’t Purchases an Additional 200 M Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines

By Miranda Greenberg -

February 18, 2021

The US government reported last week (February 11, 2020) that it had purchased an additional 100 million doses each of the COVID-19 vaccines respectively by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The orders placed bring the vaccine purchased by the US government from these two companies to a total of 600 million doses, which is enough to vaccinate 300 million people. Each company is delivering 300 million doses in regular increments through the end of July 2021. Each company will use US-based manufacturing capacity to fill–finish and ship vials as the bulk material is produced.

The US government is providing approximately $2 billion for the additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to bring the total purchase from Pfizer to approximately $6 billion. The US government is providing proximately $1.65 billion to Moderna for the additional doses to bring the total federal investment in Moderna’s vaccine development, clinical trials, manufacturing and purchase to approximately $5.75 billion.

Pfizer’s facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan remains the primary manufacturing site of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the US. All US supply comes for Moderna’s vaccine comes from its dedicated supply chain in the US. Moderna reported on February 16, 2021, that it had supplied 45.4 million doses to the US government to date. An additional 33.2 million doses of the have been filled in vials and are at various stages of final production and testing before release to the US government. Approximately 25.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the US (as reported by Moderna on February 16, 2021), according to information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Department of Defense (DoD)have contracted with four other companies to expedite development and production of vaccines that use a variety of vaccine platform technologies and are manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine doses while clinical trials are underway. If any of these other vaccine candidates are authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, the HHS and the DoD can negotiate agreements with the respective companies to purchase additional vaccine doses to meet the demand in the US.

Pfizer/BioNTech increase supply to the EU

Pfizer and BioNTech have also announced an agreement with the European Commission (EC) to supply an additional 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the 27 European Union (EU) member states. The EC has the option to request supply of an additional 100 million doses. The vaccine is marketed in the EU under the brand name, Comirnaty.

This new agreement is in addition to the 300 million doses that have already been committed to the EU through 2021 under the first supply agreement signed last year (2020). The additional 200 million doses are expected to be delivered in 2021, with an estimated 75 million doses to be supplied in the second quarter of 2021.

The total number of doses to be delivered to the EU member states by the end of 2021 is now 500 million, with the potential to increase the number to 600 million based on the option granted in the new agreement. For supply to the EU, Comirnaty is being produced in BioNTech’s and Pfizer’s manufacturing sites in Europe.

Globally, Pfizer and BioNTech aim to manufacture approximately 2 billion doses in total by the end of 2021, assuming continuous process improvements, expansion at current facilities, adding new suppliers and contract manufacturers, and an updated six-dose labeling (after dilution, vials of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine contains six doses of 0.3-mL of vaccine).

Moderna increases supply to the EU and Canada

Moderna also announced that the European Commission (EC) has purchased an additional 150 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, which are scheduled to be delivered in the third and fourth quarter of 2021. This brings confirmed order commitment to the EU to 310 million doses for delivery in 2021. The EC also has the option to purchase an additional 150 million doses to be delivered in 2022.

The Canadian government has also increased its confirmed order commitment by 4 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to bring its confirmed order commitment to 44 million doses. On December 23, 2020, Health Canada, the pharmaceutical regulatory body of Canada, authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for the immunization of people 18 years of age and older under an interim order.

In total, Moderna has confirmed the following supply agreements of committed orders totaling more than 641.5 million doses: (1) US: 300 million doses; (2) European Union: 160 million doses; (3) Japan: 50 million doses; (4) Canada: 44 million doses; (5) Republic of Korea: 40 million doses; (6) Switzerland: 13.5 million doses; (7) Colombia: 10 million doses; (8) UK: 17 million doses; (9) Israel: 6 million doses; (10) Taiwan: 5 million doses; (11) Singapore undisclosed amount; (12) Qatar undisclosed amount; and (13) other countries that have placed orders and have not been disclosed.

Vaccines approved for emergency use in Qatar and Japan.

In other news, the Qatar Ministry of Public Health has issued an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Qatar has secured access to Moderna’s vaccine through a supply agreement announced in late October 2020. Additionally, Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use in Japan.

Source: US Department of Human and Health Services, Pfizer (US), Pfizer (EU), BioNTech, Japan Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, Moderna (US), Moderna (EU), Moderna (Canada), Moderna (Qatar), and Moderna (supply update)