President Joe Biden said Tuesday the United States was buying 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate nearly the entire U.S. population of 300 million people by early fall.
The U.S. has purchased 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 100 million of the Moderna vaccine. They will be delivered by the end of summer or early fall, Biden said. With this latest order, the U.S. will have purchased 600 million doses.
"Not in hand yet, but ordered," Biden said. "We expect these additional 200 million doses to be delivered this summer."
The administration also announced it will be increasing delivery of available vaccines to states for the next three weeks to ramp up vaccination rates. Biden said the administration was increasing doses to states from 8.6 million a week to 10.1 million next week.
Biden also promised to provide states with firm vaccine allocation advisories three weeks ahead of delivery, which should allow state officials to more accurately plan for injections.
There are more than 100 million confirmed cases worldwide of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and more than 2.1 million deaths. The U.S. accounts for nearly a quarter of the cases, at nearly 25.5 million, and has recorded 424,690 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center statistics on Tuesday.
Biden, who was sworn into office a week ago, pledged to provide 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office.
He said during a news conference Tuesday that ending the pandemic would require a "war-time effort."
"More than 400,000 Americans have already died," he said. "This is a war-time undertaking. It's not hyperbole."
Also Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris received the second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine.
Both Harris and Biden received their vaccinations on live television to help allay fears about the vaccine.
Biden received his second dose before his swearing-in last week.
Pharmacist to plead guilty
Steven Brandenburg, a Wisconsin pharmacist accused of trying to spoil dozens of vials of COVID-19 vaccine, has agreed to plead guilty in federal court.
Brandenburg, 46, is charged with two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine on each count.
Brandenburg was arrested December 31 after police investigated 57 vials — enough to inoculate more than 500 people — of the Moderna vaccine that had been left outside a refrigerator at a hospital in a Milwaukee suburb.
Jason Baltz, Brandenburg's attorney, declined to comment Tuesday to The Associated Press.