WASHINGTON, Nov 17 – The United States plans to invest billions of dollars to increase the production capacity of the COVID-19 vaccine and to generate an additional $ 1 billion a year, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said on Wednesday.
Activists have forced President Joe Biden’s administration to increase the supply of vaccines to poor countries.
Zients said the government is preparing to provide mRNA vaccine manufacturers extensively to increase infrastructure and capacity, including facilities, equipment, staff or training.
Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna are the only manufacturers of mRNA vaccines, although Zients says smaller contractors from those companies will be included.
Production will begin in the second half of 2022, he said.
Investment in vaccine production is part of private and community partnerships to address vaccination needs at home and around the world and to prepare for future epidemics, he said. It will be funded from the American Rescue Plan Biden signed into law in March.
In the short term, the plan will make a significant amount of COVID-19 vaccine available at cost worldwide use. Over time, it will help establish domestic production capacity to quickly produce targets for future threats, Zients said.
Zients said 80% of Americans 12 years and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which highlights the milestone in efforts to curb the spread of this deadly virus.
He also said that 2.6 million children aged 5-11 will receive their first COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Wednesday.