US Plans To Expand Vaccine Production For Covid And Future Pandemic Threats

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In order to meet the domestic and global demand of coronavirus vaccines, and to prepare for any future pandemic threats, the U.S. Government announced plans to spend billions of dollars to expand vaccine manufacturing capacity.

With the goal of producing at least one billion additional doses a year starting by the second half of 2022, the Biden administration is offering financial support to pharmaceutical companies that have experience in manufacturing mRNA vaccines, including Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

This program would also help companies produce doses within six to nine months of identification of a future pathogen and ensure enough vaccines for all Americans, according to the White House. It would combine the expertise of the U.S. government in basic scientific research with the robust ability of pharmaceutical companies to manufacture mRNA vaccines.

"We hope companies step up and act quickly to take us up on this opportunity to expand production of mRNA vaccines for the current pandemic and set us up to react quickly to any future pandemic threats," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said at a news conference.

"For every one shot we've administered here in the United States, we're donating about three doses to people around the world," Zients told reporters.

He also announced that on Wednesday, the United States hit a major milestone of delivering 250 million doses to 110 countries around the world for free, with no strings attached.

Zients said the Biden administration is also continuing to take additional steps to help vaccinate the world.

Turning to domestic vaccination data, Zients said that strong progress is being made with the kids vaccination program. In the last week, 1.7 million kids got vaccinated — double the previous week.

it is estimated that 2.6 million children in the country aged between 5 and 11 have received their first shot of Covid vaccine. It means, within 10 days into the program being at full strength, 10 percent of kids in the age group have been covered.

Vaccines for kids are now available at more than 30,000 trusted and convenient locations, up from 20,000 last week.

Sharing data of older category, Zients said each day, about 300,000 individuals roll up their sleeve to get their first shot. And Wednesday, the country reached the milestone of 80 percent of Americans 12 and older with at least one shot.

"We also crossed 31 million Americans with a booster shot".

Since the program launched in late September, about half of eligible seniors vaccinated with Pfizer have gotten their booster, according to the top officials.

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