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

John Nacion/SOPA Images via ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

payment methods

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE

We’re falling behind our online fundraising goals and we can’t sustain coming up short on donations month after month. Perhaps you’ve heard? It is impossibly hard in the news business right now, with layoffs intensifying and fancy new startups and funding going kaput.

The crisis facing journalism and democracy isn’t going away anytime soon. And neither is Mother Jones, our readers, or our unique way of doing in-depth reporting that exists to bring about change.

Which is exactly why, despite the challenges we face, we just took a big gulp and joined forces with The Center for Investigative Reporting, a team of ace journalists who create the amazing podcast and public radio show Reveal.

If you can part with even just a few bucks, please help us pick up the pace of donations. We simply can’t afford to keep falling behind on our fundraising targets month after month.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery said it well to our team recently, and that team 100 percent includes readers like you who make it all possible: “This is a year to prove that we can pull off this merger, grow our audiences and impact, attract more funding and keep growing. More broadly, it’s a year when the very future of both journalism and democracy is on the line. We have to go for every important story, every reader/listener/viewer, and leave it all on the field. I’m very proud of all the hard work that’s gotten us to this moment, and confident that we can meet it.”

Let’s do this. If you can right now, please support Mother Jones and investigative journalism with an urgently needed donation today.

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