Washington The companies that make the coronavirus vaccine promised on Tuesday to a commission of the United States Congress a steep increase in the shipment of doses in the coming days and predicted that the majority of the American population will be inoculated by the summer.
Although the vaccination campaign had its setbacks at first, both Pfizer and Moderna estimate that by March they will have delivered to the US government about 220 million doses, well above the 75 million delivered so far.
“I really believe that we are on track to meet our goal,” Der Moderna President Stephen Hoge told the panel in Washington. “We think we are in a very good condition,” he added after outlining the ways the company is increasing production.
And that’s not counting a third vaccine, the one from Johnson & Johnson, which is likely to receive regulatory approval soon. The US government said Tuesday that it expects to receive about 2 million doses of that vaccine in the first week, but the company revealed to congressmen that it will have enough to give the single-dose version to 20 million people by the end of March.
By the summer, Pfizer and Moderna estimate that they may have shipped 300 million doses each, and J&J aims to deliver another 100 million. That would be more than enough to vaccinate every adult American – the goal set by the administration of President Joe Biden.
Two other manufacturers, Novavax and AstraZeneca, are manufacturing their own vaccines and anticipate being able to contribute to the national total.
When asked if they were short of raw materials, equipment or financing to be able to meet the established schedule, all manufacturers expressed confidence in existing supplies and said they have already solved the problems that caused the delays in the beginning.
“At this time I can confirm that we are not seeing any shortages of raw materials,” said John Young, an executive at Pfizer.
The appearance took place at a time as the vaccination campaign in the United States is accelerating after a rocky start and delays caused by winter weather. Still, state health officials warn that demand for the vaccines far exceeds the limited weekly deliveries made by the federal government.
“The most urgent problem now is the lack of supply of vaccines,” said Diana DeGette, Democratic representative for Colorado, at the beginning of the interpellation.
“Some of the companies represented here today have not delivered the doses they promised the last time they spoke before this subcommittee, in July,” he added.