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Joe Biden's government bought an additional 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech to prepare for potential additional vaccine needs in the United States, an administration official familiar with the matter tells CNN. contract.
Despite the slowdown in demand for COVID-19 vaccines, the government official said additional vaccines would be necessary for children under the age of 12, pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. (FDA), and the possibility of booster vaccines for people already immunized.
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"The federal government is exercising an option in its contract with Pfizer to purchase 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be delivered between fall 2021 and spring 2022 to prepare for future vaccination needs, including vaccines for young children. age 12 and possible booster doses if studies show they are necessary, "the official said.
The official noted that Pfizer has agreed "to provide the US with 65 million pediatric doses in the event its vaccine is approved for children under 12 years of age, including doses available immediately after authorization."
Currently, none of the three COVID-19 vaccines used in the US are available for children under 12 years of age.
Within weeks of the fall semester reopening in many colleges across the United States, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson continue to conduct clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of vaccines in children younger than 12 years old.
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Data for children ages 5 to 11 could arrive sometime in September, and based on the results, Pfizer told CNN it could ask the FDA to authorize emergency use of the vaccine later that month.
Data for 2- to 5-year-olds could come in shortly thereafter.
For younger children, Pfizer said it could get data in October or November, and soon after ask the FDA to authorize emergency use.
FDA Grants Priority Review to Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine;
a decision on its approval is expected by January 2022
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that it is "very likely" that data on COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12 years of age may be available in early winter.
"It is very likely that once the age de-escalation study is carried out, that is, when we go from 12 to nine, from nine to six, from six to two and then from six months to two years, probably in late autumn, early winter, we have enough data, "explained Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a hearing in the Senate. "But that doesn't mean it's going to be suddenly licensed then. That will be a regulatory decision for the FDA to make," he said.
A press release from BioNTech notes that 110 million of the additional doses are expected to be delivered by December 31, 2021, and the remaining 90 million by the end of April 2022. The US government also You have the option of purchasing updated versions of the vaccine if they are available and licensed.
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With this new purchase, the total number of doses supplied by Pfizer / BioNTech amounts to 500 million.
In June, the US announced its intention to buy another 500 million doses of the vaccine to donate to other low- and lower-middle-economy countries.
Demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the US has dropped considerably since initial deployment.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 252,232 people are vaccinated each day.
This is the slowest vaccination rate since January.
About 49% of the country is fully vaccinated.
The most contagious delta variant of the coronavirus now accounts for 83% of new cases in the United States.
"As a long-term partner of the US government in the fight against this pandemic, we are proud of the impact of vaccination efforts across the country. Vaccines have been and will continue to be critical to protecting lives against this devastating disease." Albert Bourla, president and CEO of Pfizer, said in the statement. "These additional doses will help the US government ensure broad access to the vaccine over the next year."
"Our constant goal has been to deliver the highest possible number of doses of our covid-19 vaccine to people around the world to help end this pandemic," said Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, also in the statement.
"We are honored to support the United States and more than 100 countries in their ongoing vaccination programs."
President Joe Biden predicted during a CNN forum earlier this week that children under the age of 12 could be approved for the vaccine "soon" by the FDA, adding that it will be up to the scientists to decide.
"Soon, in the sense that I don't tell any scientist what to do. I don't interfere. So they are doing the tests now, testing now, and making the decision now," he said, adding that the scientists they will make a decision "when they are ready" and have "done all the science that needs to be done" to determine the appropriate vaccination for different age groups.
Pfizervacuna against covid-19