The initiative comes as the Biden White House has faced growing pressure at home and abroad over inequity in the global vaccine supply — as the U.S. moves toward approving booster shots for all adults while vulnerable people in poorer nations wait for their first dose of protection.

The Biden administration is making billions of dollars available to drugmakers to scale up domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines in the hopes of building capacity to produce an additional 1 billion shots per year to share with the world.

Under the new initiative, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is soliciting pharmaceutical companies that have demonstrated the ability to make the more-effective mRNA vaccines to bid for government investment in scaling up their manufacturing abilities. Drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna produce the two U.S.-approved mRNA shots.

The Biden administration believes the boosted capacity of COVID-19 shots will help ease a global shortage of doses, particularly in lower- and middle-income nations, stopping preventable death and limiting the development of potentially new, more dangerous variants of the virus.

The initiative comes as the Biden White House has faced growing pressure at home and abroad over inequity in the global vaccine supply — as the U.S. moves toward approving booster shots for all adults while vulnerable people in poorer nations wait for their first dose of protection.

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