This summer, the U.S. government negotiated a deal to acquire 100 million doses of vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX) — enough to vaccinate 15% of the population with the two-dose vaccine. The Trump administration passed on an option to acquire an additional 500 million doses.
Now that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine won emergency use authorization from the FDA, the Trump administration has reached a deal to procure 100 million more doses of the vaccine by the summer. Pfizer plans to supply the U.S. government with 70 million doses by the end of June 2021 and provide the remaining 30 million doses in July.
The U.S. government will pay nearly $1.95 billion for the second round of doses, which is the same sum it plans to spend on the first round.
The agreement between Pfizer and HHS includes an option for an additional 400 million vaccine doses.
The U.S. is also planning on doubling the vaccine doses it will acquire from Moderna to 200 million doses for a total cost of $3.2 billion.
Together, the 400 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna will provide sufficient vaccination coverage for roughly 60% of the U.S. public.
It is difficult to determine how many people would need to receive the vaccine to reach herd immunity, wrote Rita Rubin in JAMA in August. “Typically, herd immunity is achieved when 70% to 90% of the population is immune through natural infection or vaccination,” wrote the article’s author Rita Rubin. “Even if herd immunity is achieved, it might not be uniform across the population, so outbreaks could still occur.”