WASHINGTON — The Biden administration, under pressure to increase the supply of coronavirus vaccines to poor nations, plans to spend billions of dollars to expand manufacturing capacity, with the goal of producing at least one billion additional doses a year beginning in the second half of 2022.
The investment is part of a new plan, announced Wednesday by White House officials, for the government to partner with industry to address immediate vaccine needs in the United States and overseas and to prepare for future pandemics. It comes on top of recent decisions to buy enough of Pfizer’s new Covid-19 pill for about 10 million courses of treatment, and to spend $3 billion on rapid over-the-counter tests, which are needed to detect the virus early enough for the Pfizer drug to work.
Taken together, the moves amount to an expansive new effort to control the pandemic at a time when Americans are desperate for normalcy and caseloads are creeping up with winter’s approach.
In another development that the White House hopes will reassure the public, the Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve requests from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to offer booster shots to everyone 18 and older.
Read more at The New York Times.