Joe Biden says millions of masks will be sent 'very shortly'

The world's COVID-19 vaccine makers are rapidly ramping up production and expressed optimism Tuesday that the U.S. will have sufficient supply to vaccinate every American who wants it by the end of July, as President Joe Biden has said.

Representatives of the drug companies also said they're performing on alterations to the vaccines to combat variants if necessary.

John Young, chief business officer at Pfizer, said at a hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that his company will have provided 120 million doses by the end of March and reach 300 million by the end of July. That's enough of the two-dose regimen for 150 million Americans, and Young said the corporation is functioning to make sure safety and effectiveness for youngsters .

"We are conducting studies in patients between 12 to 15 years of age and hope to soon begin studies in children under the age of 11," Young said.

Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, said his company also hopes to deliver 300 million doses by the end of July. And Richard Nettles, Johnson & Johnson’s vice president of medical affairs, said if his company wins Food and Drug Administration authorization for emergency use, J&J hopes to supply 100 million doses of its single-dose vaccine by the end of June.

States will receive about 14.5 million doses of vaccine this week, marking a nearly 70% increase in distribution of doses over the last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. Psaki also said governors were told Tuesday that the number of doses sent directly to pharmacies will increase by about 100,000 this week.

The head of the world Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is calling for better COVID-19 vaccine access for poor nations, saying, “More than 210 countries are yet to administer a single dose.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plans to slowly ease a national lockdown have boosted optimism that travel restrictions will be removed in time for the summer holiday season. TUI, the U.K.’s largest tour operator, said Tuesday that bookings increased six-fold Monday, the company’s busiest day in more than a month.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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