Moderna would deliver the additional doses in the summer of 2021 if the deal pushes through. President Joe Biden also aims to purchase an additional order of 100 million doses from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in December 2020. These additional doses would ensure the U.S. has sufficient vaccines for the long term.
The federal government also signed deals with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, whose vaccine candidates await FDA approval.
J&J has committed to deliver 100 million doses of its single-dose vaccine by June 2021. J&J CFO Joe Wolk said Jan. 26 that the company is "confident" it will be able to fulfill the 100 million doses it promised. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca is expected to turn in 300 million doses of its vaccine – but not until the fall of 2021. The British pharmaceutical firm developed its Wuhan coronavirus jab in partnership with the University of Oxford.
Those deals didn't necessarily mean vaccine rollout would speed up immediately, but achieving herd immunity by late summer or early fall became a possibility.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bloomberg show that the U.S. has only vaccinated seven percent of its total population – about 23.5 million Americans. Only one percent of the population has completed the two-dose vaccine.
The new deals came amid Biden's Jan. 26 announcement that vaccine deliveries to states with dose shortages will ramp up over the next three weeks. The severity of these shortages reached a point where some locations had to cancel thousands of appointments for first-dose recipients. The president called the push a "wartime" effort, acknowledging that states have been playing a guessing game of how much vaccine doses they have every week.
As such, he promised to boost deliveries to these states by about 16 percent. "This is unacceptable. Lives are at stake," Biden remarked. The newly elected president pledged to have 100 million Americans vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus during his first 100 days in office. Biden may even exceed this goal with the additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna.
However, it appears that the current administration has not addressed the safety issues surrounding the Massachusetts-based company's mRNA jab for the Wuhan coronavirus.
Dr. Hossein Sadrzadeh of the Boston Medical Center received the Moderna vaccine back in December 2020. He suffered from a severe allergic reaction within minutes after vaccination. Sadrzadeh's tongue and throat started to tingle before going numb and his heart rate increased almost immediately. His blood pressure dropped, which called for immediate medical intervention. The physician was admitted to the emergency room and immediately given anti-allergy medication and steroids. Sadrzadeh felt normal the day after.
A month after, a nursing home employee from Indiana suffered from convulsions after receiving the Moderna jab. Oakland City resident Shawn Skelton exhorted people to avoid the mRNA vaccine. She posted videos on Facebook showing tongue spasms and uncontrollable shaking. Skelton's partner Rich Vidiella said the convulsions happened three days after she was vaccinated against COVID-19. (Related: Louisiana woman suffers uncontrollable spasms after Pfizer coronavirus vaccination.)
Even the nation's top infectious disease doctor was not exempt from the adverse effects of the Moderna mRNA vaccine. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a Jan. 22 White House briefing that he was "knocked out" for an entire day after getting his second dose of the COVID-19 jab. Fauci mentioned feeling "a little achy" and "chilly," but insisted he was not sick.
Vaccines.news has more news about jabs to address the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.