Pfizer Inc PFE has told the outgoing Donald Trump administration that it cannot supply a considerable amount of additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the United States until late June because other countries have hastened to secure the supply, the Washington Post reported Monday.
What Happened: The development means that the U.S. government may have difficulty in procurement beyond the 100 million doses it has already secured earlier this year, according to the Post.
Some government officials dismissed the issues surrounding procurement, pointing to the availability of other vaccines in the pipeline, while others expressed concerns.
Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the overseer of logistics for Operation Warp Speed — the government initiative to speed up vaccine development — said this week that he understood that “Pfizer made plans with other countries. Many have been announced. We understand those pieces.”
Federal officials contacted Pfizer about securing another 100 million doses over the weekend but, by that time, Pfizer had made other commitments, the Post reported.
Moncef Slaoui, chief science advisor, to the government’s vaccine initiative said that Johnson & Johnson JNJ is expected to report trial results in early January and will be ready to ship doses in February. The advisor said that AstraZeneca plc AZN is likely to report results in late January or early February and doses will be available later that month.
Why It Matters: Pfizer did not take government money for research and development, which left the administration considerably blindsided on its decisions, the Post noted, citing an unnamed senior administration official.
Last summer Pfizer had urged the government to purchase 200 million doses, which would inoculate 100 million people, people familiar with the matter told the Post.
Pfizer has said it may be able to supply 50 million doses at the end of the second quarter, and another 50 million in the third quarter, as per the Post’s sources.
President Trump is likely to sign an executive order Tuesday that would reportedly prioritize vaccinations for Americans before other countries.
There is no clarity on whether the order is related to Pfizer or if such a directive could prevent the New York-based firm from supplying other countries, as per the Post.
Price Action: Pfizer shares closed nearly 2.2% higher at $41.25 and gained 0.46% in the after-hours session.
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