Speed Reads

Solving COVID

Pfizer and Moderna plan to at least double vaccine shipments by mid-March

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna pledged Tuesday to boost their current distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

As it stands, Pfizer and Moderna are distributing 4-5 million vaccine doses each week. Pfizer plans to up that to 13 million doses weekly by mid-March, and Moderna is working to distribute 40 million doses per month, the companies told the House Energy and Commerce Committee during a Tuesday hearing. Moderna plans to ship at least 100 million doses by the end of May.

The increased production promises come amid a sluggish coronavirus vaccine rollout. President Biden originally set the U.S. on a goal of distributing 100 million vaccine doses during his first 100 days in office, but increased it to 150 million as it became clear the original plan wouldn't allow the U.S. to achieve herd immunity for months. The U.S. gave out an average of 1.45 million vaccines each day in the week of Feb. 10-17, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both Moderna and Pfizer are currently testing booster shots that may work better against more transmissible COVID-19 variants. Moderna is testing its vaccine's efficacy on adolescents and hopes to distribute it to them by the fall.