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US purchases further 200M Pfizer vaccines for children and possible boosters

Published on 26/07/21 at 10:50am

The Biden administration has purchased an additional 200 million Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children, as well as for potential booster shots.

A Biden administration official told the Financial Times that the government was exercising an option to buy the 200m doses “to prepare for future vaccination needs, including vaccines for children under 12 and possible booster shots if studies show they are necessary”.

“Importantly, as part of the agreement, Pfizer will provide the US with 65m paediatric doses should Pfizer’s vaccine be approved for kids under 12, including doses available immediately upon authorisation.”

This brings the US’s total order of the Pfizer vaccine up to 500 million, roughly 208 million doses have already been delivered, as of Thursday's data from the government.

This comes as the Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain the in country and is driving up infection.

Pfizer and BioNTech have designed a new version of their vaccine targeting the Delta variant, which they plan to test in the coming weeks, but have said the current vaccine could also provide protection against the variant.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said: "These additional doses will help the US government ensure broad vaccine access into next year.”

The US government has said Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster COVID-19 shot at this time.

The UK is planning booster shots for over 50s from September, as a third shot of the vaccine is thought necessary to protect vulnerable people.

It will include all adults aged 50 and over, and anyone younger who qualifies for a flu jab.

Lilly Subbotin

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