Drug executives: Big jump in vaccine supply is coming soon

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2021, file photo, scripps health official draws from a vile of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to administering it at their new drive-thru vaccination site at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, Calif. Executives from the major COVID-19 vaccine producers are set Tuesday, Feb. 23, to answer questions from Congress about expanding the supply of shots needed to curb the pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2021, file photo, scripps health official draws from a vile of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to administering it at their new drive-thru vaccination site at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, Calif. Executives from the major COVID-19 vaccine producers are set Tuesday, Feb. 23, to answer questions from Congress about expanding the supply of shots needed to curb the pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 Americans. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool, File) (© The San Diego Union-Tribune)

WASHINGTON – COVID-19 vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month, and the companies insist they will be able to provide enough for most Americans to get inoculated by summer.

By the end of March, Pfizer and Moderna expect to have provided the U.S. government with a total of 220 million vaccine doses, up sharply from the roughly 75 million shipped so far.

“We do believe we're on track,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said, outlining ways the company has ramped up production. “We think we're at a very good spot.”

That's not counting a third vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, that's expected to get a green light from regulators soon. The Biden administration said Tuesday that it expects about 2 million doses of that vaccine to be shipped in the first week, but the company told lawmakers it should provide enough of the single-dose option for 20 million people by the end of March.

Looking ahead to summer, Pfizer and Moderna expect to complete delivery of 300 million doses each, and J&J aims to provide an additional 100 million doses. That would be more than enough to vaccinate every American adult, the goal set by the Biden administration.

Two other manufacturers, Novavax and AstraZeneca, have vaccines in the pipeline and anticipate eventually adding to those totals.

Asked pointedly if they face shortages of raw materials, equipment or funding that would throw off those schedules, all of the manufacturers expressed confidence that they had enough supplies and had already addressed some of the early bottlenecks in production.

“At this point I can confirm we are not seeing any shortages of raw materials,” said Pfizer’s John Young.