By Michael Erman and Manojna Maddipatla | Reuters
NEW YORK – Manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine told Congress on Tuesday that US supplies should increase in the coming weeks due to manufacturing expansions and new vaccine authorizations.
Executives from Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, speaking at a hearing in the US House of Representatives, said they could supply enough vaccine to fully inoculate 130 million people in the United States by the end of March.
Drug makers also reaffirmed their commitment to supply more than enough doses needed to vaccinate all Americans by the end of July.
Pfizer Chief Commercial Officer John Young said it was plausible that there could be a surplus of vaccine in the United States sometime in the second quarter of this year.
“We certainly hope to be in a position where all eligible adults can get vaccinated,” Young said.
About 44.5 million people in the United States had received at least one dose of two-shot vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna, as of Tuesday morning.
Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine will be considered by an external advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration later this week, and authorization for emergency use could come soon after.
Richard Nettles, vice president of Medical Affairs for J & J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, said the company could ship nearly 4 million doses of its licensed COVID-19 vaccine and 20 million doses by the end of March.
Additional doses could also come from AstraZeneca Plc and Novavax Inc, which are currently conducting clinical trials of their experimental vaccines.
An AstraZeneca executive said the drugmaker could supply the doses needed to vaccinate another 25 million people by the end of April if its vaccine is cleared by US regulators.