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President Biden Announces Increased Purchase of COVID-19 Vaccines

February 17, 2021  


The Biden administration has announced the purchase of an additional 200 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna

The government anticipates distribution to 300 million Americans by mid-summer

Adding more vaccine doses will aid in raising the confidence level of employers and individuals for the coming year

Since early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic became a serious health threat in most parts of the world, the global economy has suffered enormous losses. Programs that can bring more vaccinations will add confidence to the economy, and potentially reduce continued unemployment and the incidence of businesses shuttering their doors permanently due to financial concerns.

To that end, President Biden has announced additional COVID-19 vaccine purchases of 100 million doses each from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. This latest federal government purchase agreement will increase the expected total available in the United States to 600 million doses – which would fully vaccinate 300 million Americans – the implications of which could be paradigm-shifting. All of these doses are anticipated to be available by July.

In 2020, the Trump administration contracted for an initial aggregate total of 1 billion vaccine doses; however, many of those have not yet been fully vetted or approved for use. Of the aggregate total under contract, 300 million doses would be from AstraZeneca, 100 million doses would be from Johnson & Johnson, 100 million doses from Novovax, and 100 million doses from Sanofi. Only Johnson & Johnson has presently submitted its scientific findings to the Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization. The Biden administration was able to leverage options in the existing contracts to add the additional 200 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Health experts are generally in agreement that all of the vaccines under development and in current distribution will be vital in the global response to COVID-19.

Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are thought to be approximately 95 percent effective in preventing the virus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which does not have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures and is a one-dose vaccine, is anticipated to be approximately 60-70 percent effective. 

Variants and mutations of the coronavirus have recently been identified and data is still being collected on the vaccines’ efficacy for those mutations. 

For more information please contact the Barnes & Thornburg attorney with whom you work or Ron Miller at 202-408-6923 or ronnie.miller@btlaw.com

© 2021 Barnes & Thornburg LLP. All Rights Reserved. This page, and all information on it, is proprietary and the property of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. It may not be reproduced, in any form, without the express written consent of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

This Barnes & Thornburg LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.



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