According to a June 29 press release, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense, announced an agreement to purchase 105 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for a fall vaccination campaign, with options for up to 300 million doses. “The contract announcement follows a June 28 meeting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting, which recommended the inclusion of an Omicron component for COVID-19 booster vaccines in the U.S.,” the release states.
The release adds that “The $3.2 billion contract includes a combination of adult and pediatric doses with a portion of the adult doses provided as single-dose vials, a first for COVID-19 vaccines. Pending FDA authorization of the vaccine and a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS could expect to receive the first deliveries of the vaccine in early fall.”
The release goes on to explain that earlier this month due to the lack of additional COVID-19 funding from Congress, the Administration had to reallocate $10 billion in existing funding that pulled billions of dollars from COVID-19 response efforts in order to pay for additional vaccines and treatments. The funding for the new Pfizer contract is being paid with a portion of the reallocated funding. To award the contract, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of ASPR, collaborated with the DOD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and Army Contracting Command.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra was quoted in the release saying that “Vaccines have been a game-changer in our fight against COVID-19, allowing people to return to normal activities knowing that vaccines protect from severe illness. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to doing everything we can to continue to make vaccines free and widely available to Americans— and this is an important first step to preparing us for the fall.”