We Only Get 100 Million Doses of the Pfizer Vaccine. Is This a Problem?

John Nacion/SOPA Images via ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

The news of the day is that the federal government contracted for only 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine (enough for 50 million people) and declined Pfizer’s offer during the summer to buy more. Now Pfizer says their excess supply has already been promised to other countries, and we won’t be able to get more until June.

This is all true, but keep in mind that the feds also contracted for a bunch of other vaccines. All of these are currently in Phase 3 testing:

  • Moderna: 100 million doses (50 million people)
  • Johnson & Johnson: 100 million doses (100 million people)
  • Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline: 100 million doses (50 million people)
  • AstraZeneca: 300 million doses (150 million people)
  • Novavax: 100 million doses (50 million people)

All of these vaccines are behind Pfizer in the race for approval, but manufacturing is ongoing. This means that when they get approved—and at least some of them are bound to be approved over the next month or so—there will be additional doses of vaccine available. Given this timeline, along with the pace at which the vaccines can be rolled out to the public, it’s likely that supply won’t turn out to be a big bottleneck. By the time we run out of Pfizer’s vaccine, others will be online and deliverable.

There’s a lot of speculation here, of course. It’s always possible that no other vaccine will ever be approved and we’ll face a shortage. But it’s really not very likely.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate