The US can anticipate 240000000 doses of vaccines by the end of March. This is what drug firms told a House subcommittee yesterday.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have emergency use authorization in the country. The two drug makers have pledged to ship a total of 220000000 doses of vaccines to the US towards the end of March.
Johnson & Johnson which will receive such authorization from the FDA has pledged to supply 20000000 doses of vaccine within that time.
Pfizer, Moderna, And J&J To Supply 240000000 Doses Of Vaccine To The US
If the company receive authorization for the emergency use of its vaccine this week, it plants to contribute towards ending this pandemic at the earlier, J&J told the lawmakers.
The company is ready to send 4000000 doses of its vaccines immediately upon authorization. Senior officials from the five drugmakers submitted their testimonies before House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations this Tuesday.
Upon the authorization of AstraZeneca in April, the US will have a fourth vaccine. The company is ready to send 30000000 doses of its vaccine immediately upon authorization. And it will ensure almost 50000000 towards the end of April.
Pfizer had aimed to supply up to 40000000 doses of vaccines by the end of 2020. But it hit the benchmark only last week. Moderna too had promised to supply up to 20000000 doses of its vaccine by the end of 2020. But it fell behind by one week.
Experts asked them why they failed to deliver on time. They responded that the unavailability of raw materials and the difficulties of preparing a never-before-manufactured product caused the issue.
The companies had to make something they never manufactured before and that too in such a large scale. They had to learn a lot as they came along, they said. If they had begun earlier and had lined up the raw materials, they could have done much faster, they added.
The five drug makers have agreements with the US government to supply up to supply 1.5 billion doses of vaccine. This is sufficient to vaccinate 600000000 people, almost twice the country’s population.
All of them have assured lawmakers that they will fulfil their commitments. They even said that they don’t foresee any shortage of raw materials on the way.
Moderna has applied for FDA’s approval to increase its doses of the vaccine in each of its vials from 10 to 15. The company said it will accelerate its supply to a great extent and decrease demands for some of the critical raw materials.
Drug makers even addressed the question of protection of the doses available in the situation when new virus variants are spreading faster.
One firm said that adding protection for a new strain of the virus is something they can do. They have experience in doing so. Pfizer, in the meantime, is looking to add a third booster dose.
According to the company, higher titers of antibodies may offer protection against the new variants. Some of them are even discussing arrangements with the FDA to produce an upgraded vaccine in the instance of a new variant of the virus.
The country’s vaccination drive is gaining moment even though it had a slow beginning. The fierce winter storms too caused great havoc in the attempt. States, however, say that the demand for vaccines still surpasses their weekly supply of the same.
The toughest challenge before the country is the lack of supply of the vaccines, said a Democrat lawmaker. And even when there are no interruptions, other concerns may still hamper the country’s effort to vaccinate 70-80% of its population. This is a must to slow the spread of the new variants of the virus, the lawmaker feels.