THE NEUTRAL ZONE
The Trump administration turned down multiple offers from Pfizer last summer that would have secured millions of additional vaccine doses, the New York Times reported Monday. Since the deal closed, Pfizer promised most of its supply to other countries, meaning the U.S. won’t receive additional doses until late June or July.
Under its contract with Pfizer, the administration committed to buying 100 million doses – enough for 50 million Americans – for $1.95 billion but declined to lock in an additional 100 to 500 million doses. Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb confirmed the report, noting the company had made the offer “as recently as after the interim data came out and we knew this vaccine looked to be effective.”
The administration pushed back against the report, saying that the vaccine strategy was always to deal with six different companies, not just Pfizer. Officials said the administration was confident that every American who wants to get a vaccine will be able to get one.
Pfizer announced its vaccine tested 95% effective in November, months after the White House closed the contract. The Food and Drug Administration said in briefing documents Tuesday that the shot appeared to be effective without concerns of major side effects. The FDA could grant emergency authorization as soon as Thursday. Meanwhile, the U.K. – the first country to approve Pfizer’s vaccine – started administering doses Tuesday morning.
President Trump issued an executive order Tuesday directing Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar to ensure priority access to coronavirus vaccines to Americans. The full impact of the order on supply remains unclear. A White House official told Newsweek that the goal of the order was to relieve fears of a vaccine shortage. The U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths, with over 15 million reported cases and more than 284,000 deaths.
The U.S. Has Ordered Enough Of Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine For 50 Million People—But That’s All – Forbes – 12/7/2020
In July, the U.S. government announced a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech, creators of a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine, to purchase 100 million doses of the vaccine. But that’s only enough to vaccinate about 50 million people with two doses each, which amounts to only around 15% of America’s population. The deal also included an option for the government to purchase an additional 500 million doses, but sources close to Health and Human Services have told Forbes that the government hasn’t yet purchased them.
The Trump administration reportedly rejected an offer from Pfizer for more COVID-19 vaccine doses, and now other countries might get them – Business Insider – 12/7/2020
Now that the UK has approved the vaccine and other countries, including the US, are expected to authorize it as well, Americans may struggle to get more doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine given commitments the company has made to other countries, The Times said. The US has already ordered enough of Pfizer’s drug to vaccinate 50 million people, but the company may not be able to offer more doses to the country beyond that until next June, though other companies’ vaccines remain promising as well.
White House pushes back on claims it turned down additional Pfizer vaccine doses – Fox Business – 12/7/2020
The Trump administration is pushing back on reports that it turned down the opportunity to purchase additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the summer. A White House official told Fox News on Monday that the story, which was first reported by The New York Times, is “fake” and was “planted” by the pharmaceutical giant. There are concerns Pfizer may not be able to produce additional doses of the vaccine for the U.S. until next summer because of commitments to other countries, which the same White House official told Fox News was simply part of a public negotiating process.
White House Reportedly Passed on Buying 100 Million Vaccine Doses – Intelligencer – 12/7/2020
The Trump administration’s multiple failures to secure pandemic supplies this year have further diminished the president’s status as the world’s greatest deal-maker. And that was before perhaps the biggest screw-up of all involving Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, the first such shot to be ready for wide-scale use. […] The reports of the Trump administration’s failure to procure enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine come the day before the president is expected to sign an executive order prioritizing vaccinating Americans before the U.S. government helps in the worldwide effort.