Pfizer negotiating with Trump administration for additional 100M COVID-19 vaccine doses next year

Pfizer negotiating with Trump administration for additional 100M COVID-19 vaccine doses next year
© Greg Nash

Pfizer is negotiating with the Trump administration to deliver 100 million additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine next year, the company's CEO said Monday, but nothing has been agreed to yet.

During an interview with CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Albert Bourla said Pfizer will be able to deliver that amount, but they are still working out the timeline with the administration.

“We can provide them, the additional 100 million doses. But right now most of that we can provide in the third quarter [of 2021]," while the Trump administration wants them delivered in the second quarter, he said.

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"So we are working very collaboratively with them to make sure we can find ways to produce more or allocate the doses in the second quarter as well. But we haven’t signed this agreement yet," Bourla said.

He added the U.S. has a "fixed order" of 100 million doses, but the company will only be able to manufacture 50 million doses this year. 

The U.S. will get about half of that, with the other half distributed globally. The remainder of the doses will be delivered to the U.S. by the end of the first quarter of next year. 

The company expects to manufacture about 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

Pfizer began shipping initial doses of the vaccine from its plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Sunday after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization on Friday. The vaccines began arriving in states on Monday, and have already started to be administered.

The number of initial doses will be extremely limited as manufacturing ramps up. 

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Officials with the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed said the plan is to distribute 2.9 million doses in the first 24 hours, followed by an additional 2.9 million doses 21 days later for patients to get their second shot. The government has also set aside 500,000 doses in reserve, in case of emergency.

The administration has faced criticism for the decision not to order additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine when given the opportunity. 

Last week, former FDA commissioner and Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that the Trump administration turned down an offer to secure more doses of Pfizer’s vaccine as recently as last month.

Between the Pfizer vaccine and an additional one from Moderna that could get authorization as soon as this week, the administration's goal is to vaccinate 20 million people with the first of two doses by the end of the year, and give at least 50 million more the first dose by January.