Meanwhile, the top developers of U.S. COVID-19 vaccines are facing questions from Congress about limited supplies of the shots needed to end the pandemic.
The pace of vaccinations is picking up nationwide, but demand for the shots continues to outpace limited supplies distributed by the U.S. government. The Energy and Commerce Committee panel began hearing testimony from the five companies with contracts to supply COVID-19 shots to the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax.
Johnson & Johnson revealed ahead of the hearing that initial supplies of its one-shot vaccine will be limited to 20 million doses by the end of March. The company plans to tell lawmakers it faces “significant challenges” in scaling up production.
However, federal health officials say a total of 700 million doses is still slated for delivery by late July. That would be enough to reach the goal of providing enough shots for every American adult.
The pandemic has killed more than 500,000 Americans.