The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD), announced an agreement to purchase more than 100 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for a fall vaccine campaign. The contract announcement follows a June 28, 2022 meeting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which recommended the inclusion of an Omicron component for COVID-19 booster vaccines in the U.S.
“Vaccines have been a game-changer in our fight against COVID-19, allowing people to return to normal activities knowing that vaccines protect from severe illness,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to doing everything we can to continue to make vaccines free and widely available to Americans – and this is an important first step to preparing us for the fall.”
The $3.2 billion contract includes a combination of adult and pediatric doses with a portion of the adult doses provided as single-dose vials, a first for COVID-19 vaccines. HHS has been working with vaccine manufacturers to offer single-dose vials as an option to minimize instances of wastage. Pending FDA authorization of the vaccine and a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS could expect to receive first deliveries of the new vaccine in the early fall.
“Over the past 18 months, we have procured and delivered more than 750 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine nationwide, contributing to two-thirds of American adults being fully vaccinated,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Dawn O’Connell. “We look forward to taking delivery of these new variant-specific vaccines and working with state and local health departments, pharmacies, health care providers, federally qualified health centers, and other partners to make them available in communities around the country this fall.”
To award the contract, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of ASPR, collaborated with the DOD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) who led this effort in partnership with the Defense Assisted Acquisition Cell (DA2) and U.S. Army Contracting Command.