Trump administration officials died when Pfizer offered at the end of the summer to sell the US government additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to people familiar with the matter. Now Pfizer might not be able to deliver more of its vaccine to the United States until next June due to its commitments to other countries, they said.
As the administration scrambles to try to buy more doses of the vaccine, President Trump plans on Tuesday to sign an executive order “to ensure that the United States government prioritizes the delivery of the vaccine to American citizens before to send it to other countries, ”according to a draft statement and a White House official, although the strength of the presidential decree was not immediately clear.
This included the possibility of expanding the US supply of doses beyond what is specified in existing federal contracts.
The vaccine produced by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, is a two-dose treatment, which means that 100 million doses are enough to vaccinate just 50 million Americans. The vaccine is expected to receive emergency use authorization in the United States as early as this weekend, with another vaccine, developed by Moderna, also likely to be approved for emergency use soon.
Britain plans to start a vaccination campaign on Tuesday using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which will make it the first Western country to begin mass vaccinations.
On November 11 – two days after Pfizer first announced initial results indicating its vaccine was over 90% effective – the European Union announced that it had finalized a supply agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for 200 million doses, an agreement in which they began to negotiate. months earlier. Deliveries could start by the end of the year, and the contract includes an option for an additional 100 million doses.
When asked if the Trump administration missed a crucial chance over the summer to take more doses for Americans, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said: “We are confident that we will have 100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine as agreed. in our contract, and beyond, we have five other candidate vaccines. “
In a statement, Pfizer said that “any additional dose beyond $ 100 million is subject to a separate and mutually acceptable agreement,” and that “the company is unable to comment on confidential discussions. that could take place with the US government. “
The decision to issue the executive order was reported earlier by Fox News.