Securing the Best Possible COVID-19 Boosters for the Fall



Over the past 18 months, we have procured and delivered more than 750 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine nationwide, contributing to two-thirds of American adults being fully vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines that are available today have saved millions of lives and continue to offer the best available protection against the severe illness and hospitalization.

However, we know the virus is dynamic, and studies have shown that effectiveness of primary vaccination wanes over time against certain variants, including omicron. And while initial booster doses have helped restore protection against severe disease and hospitalization associated with omicron, studies also indicated waning effectiveness of first booster doses over time.

To that end, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised vaccine manufacturers seeking to update their COVID-19 vaccines for the fall that they should develop modified vaccines that add in omicron BA.4/5 spike protein component to current vaccine composition to create a two component (bivalent) booster vaccine. The second component will be the original or “wild type” virus spike protein that has been in each of the previously authorized vaccines. This follows an agreement announced yesterday, in partnership with the Department of Defense, to purchase 105 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for a fall vaccination campaign, with options for up to 300 million doses.

This means that the 105 million doses we have agreed to purchase from Pfizer will be the bivalent-type vaccines recommended by the FDA, offering the American people access to the strongest available protection for the fall and beyond. Pending FDA authorization of the vaccine and a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we could expect to receive the first deliveries of the vaccine in early fall.

Earlier this month, in the absence of additional COVID-19 funding from Congress, the Administration was forced to reallocate $10 billion in existing funding, pulling billions of dollars from COVID-19 response efforts in order to pay for additional vaccines and treatments. The funding for this new Pfizer contract is being paid for with a portion of that reallocated funding.

We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available – and offer the best possible protection – for the American people. 


Response and Recovery




Dawn O'Co​nnell, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

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Vaccine vials
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Created at 6/30/2022 12:34 PM by ELIZABETH JARRETT
Last modified at 6/30/2022 12:39 PM by ELIZABETH JARRETT