Trump administration officials denied Monday they turned down an opportunity to buy more doses of the Pfizer vaccine months ago.
The New York Times reported Monday that Pfizer had made the offer to sell the US government additional doses in late summer, but the newspaper said the administration turned it down.
Senior members of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed spoke about the issue on a background briefing call with reporters.
One senior administration official who did not want to be identified said the administration is “in the middle of a negotiation right now” and can’t talk publicly about it.
“But we feel absolutely confident” that there will be a “sufficient number of doses to vaccinate all Americans who desire one before the end of the second quarter of 2021,” the official said.
The initial US contract, an advanced purchase agreement with Pfizer, was signed on July 22, the administration official said. That agreement was for 100 million doses with the option to purchase more. The 100 million doses would be enough to vaccinate 50 million people, because it’s a two-dose vaccine.
The administration said it is continuing to negotiate with several companies working on Covid-19 vaccines. The US has the opportunity to purchase 3 billion doses of vaccine, among all the contracts the federal government currently has with various companies. That would in theory be enough to vaccinate the US population several times over.