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23 Feb, 2021 07:28

Pfizer and Moderna pledge to Congress to ramp up Covid-19 vaccine production as US death toll tops 500,000

Pfizer and Moderna pledge to Congress to ramp up Covid-19 vaccine production as US death toll tops 500,000

Pfizer and Moderna have prepared written testimonies to the US Congress, promising to boost vaccine production in the coming months, as the country’s death toll from Covid-19 recently exceeded 500,000.

The companies’ executives are scheduled to speak before the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on Tuesday.

According to Pfizer Chief Business Officer John Young’s written testimony, the company will have 120 million doses of the vaccine available for shipment by the end of March and an additional 80 million doses by the end of May. Pfizer expects that all 300 million contracted doses will be available by the end of July, which is enough to inoculate up to 150 million Americans.

Overall, Pfizer has increased its 2021 production plan from 1.3 billion to at least 2 billion doses since July.

“To date, no serious safety concerns have been identified that have changed the favorable risk-benefit profile of the vaccine,” Young wrote.

Moderna President Stephen Hoge wrote that the company has doubled the monthly deliveries since late 2020, and plans to double them again by April to more than 40 million doses per month. He added that 300 million doses will be ready between the end of March and the end of July.

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The testimony comes the US death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 500,000 on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Around 64.2 million doses of the vaccine have been administered across the country after the vaccine rollout began in December, according to Bloomberg’s tally.

Among the main concerns today are the new variants of Covid-19, including the UK variant, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could become dominant in the US by March.

Pfizer said its studies show that the company’s vaccine is effective against the coronavirus strains from the UK and South Africa. Moderna reported that the company is closely monitoring the new variants and is testing the performance of its vaccine against them.

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