Pentagon, DHS team up to purchase 100 million more coronavirus vaccine doses

Photo credit Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have purchased an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. to help meet demand in the United States.

“These purchases will allow us to accelerate our vaccination efforts to get shots into the arms of the American people,” said Acting HHS Secretary Norris Cochran in a DoD release.

The orders were placed Thursday and bring the vaccines purchased by the U.S. government from the two companies to a total of 600 million doses, enough to vaccinate 300 million people since both vaccines require two doses.

Each company is delivering 300 million doses in regular increments through the end of July and each will leverage American-based manufacturing capacity to fill, finish and ship vials as the bulk material is produced.

The companies began manufacturing doses of their vaccines at the same time that clinical trials were getting underway last year.

The vaccine is available at no cost. Vaccine administration costs for private-sector administration partners are being covered by healthcare payers: private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid and an HHS program to cover COVID-19 costs for the uninsured which is reimbursing providers at Medicare rates, Defense Department officials said this week.

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