The Trump administration declined a late summer offer from Pfizer to purchase more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reports.
That may mean that the U.S. will be unable to receive more doses from Pfizer beyond the initial 100 million that it purchased until June 2021, the newspaper reported. The European Union signed a contract for 200 million doses of the vaccine.
Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses to be effective, meaning that the Trump administration secured doses for 50 million people. The administration signed a similar contract for 100 million doses of Moderna’s two-shot vaccine, suggesting that the federal government has secured doses to inoculate 100 million Americans from the two candidates on the verge of regulatory approval.
It wasn’t clear why the Trump administration refused the offer from Pfizer. When Operation Warp Speed initially purchased doses of the vaccine, the contract came with an option to purchase 500 million more.
Forbes reported on Monday that HHS has not exercised that option. Pfizer told the Times that “the company is not able to comment on any confidential discussions that may be taking place with the U.S. government.”