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U.S. wants drug companies to ramp up capacity to make more COVID-19 vaccine doses

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U.S. wants drug companies to ramp up capacity to make more COVID-19 vaccine doses
Advisers say President Biden wants capacity increased so that pharma companies have the capability about a year from now to produce a billion doses per year. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The White House's top science expert and the one who's driving COVID-19 vaccine distribution nationwide said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden's administration is offering billions of dollars to drugmakers to ramp up production capacity.

The investment, Dr. David Kessler said, is designed to increase capacity to a point at which producers can make an additional billion vaccine doses per year to share with the rest of the world.

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The White House said the funding will support companies like Pfizer and Moderna in scaling up capacity and design a manufacturing program that would be beneficial during future health emergencies.

"The goal is to guarantee capacity to produce approximately 100 million mRNA vaccines a month against COVID or other pandemic viruses upon demand for the United States or global use," Kessler, Biden's chief science officer, said according to The Washington Post.

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The investment announced Wednesday is designed to give drug companies the capacity to produce about 1 billion additional vaccine doses per year. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI

"This partnership will be used for COVID and any future pandemic viruses with the goal of having enough vaccines available within six to nine months of the identification of the virus."

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Biden's government has been criticized for accelerating booster doses for Americans when poorer nations around the world are still having trouble administering first and second doses.

Advisers say Biden wants capacity increased so that pharma companies have the capability about a year from now to produce a billion doses per year.

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The White House said the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency will issue a "request for information" from companies that have experience with coronavirus vaccine technology.

"[Officials want responses] in a very short period of time, 30 days, to understand how most efficiently, effectively and reliably we can increase manufacturing," said White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients, according to The New York Times.

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