Pfizer negotiating with U.S. to provide additional 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses: CEO

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Published at : 31 Dec 2020
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Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said the company is negotiating with the federal government to provide an additional 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses next year as Americans will receive some of the first shots Monday. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said the company is negotiating with the federal government to provide an additional 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses next year as Americans will receive some of the first shots Monday.

Pfizer and the U.S. are working out the details on timing, Bourla told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview Monday morning. The company could provide many of those doses in the third quarter of 2021, but the U.S. government is pushing for it in the second quarter, he said.

“We are working very collaboratively to try to find a solution and be able to allocate those 100 million [doses] in the second quarter if possible or a lot of them,” Bourla said, adding the company has not signed an agreement with the U.S. yet.

The comment came after the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use late Friday. The vaccine was authorized for people 16 and older.

The first doses of the vaccine began shipping across the U.S. over the weekend. Trucks carrying boxes containing vaccine doses left Pfizer’s manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Sunday and were expected to arrive Monday, according to Pfizer. The company said 189 boxes containing a total of 184,275 doses are shipping to sites across all 50 states and four boxes will ship to U.S. territories. The vaccine is a two-dose regimen with the shots administered three weeks apart.

Initial doses of Pfizer’s vaccine will be limited as manufacturing ramps up, with officials predicting it will take months to immunize everyone in the U.S. who wants to be vaccinated. The vaccine is expected to be distributed in phases with the most critical U.S. workers and vulnerable people getting it first. The CDC has provided states with an outline that recommends prioritizing health-care workers and nursing homes first, but states can distribute the vaccine as they see fit.

The Federal Aviation Administration late Friday urged airports to ensure they have enough staffing as vaccines arrive.

Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees logistics for Operation Warp Speed, said Wednesday that the government would distribute 2.9 million doses of the vaccine within 24 hours of approval for emergency use from the FDA, followed by an additional 2.9 million doses 21 days later for patients to get their second shot. The government has also set aside a reserve of 500,000 doses in case of an emergency or manufacturing hiccup, he said.

Setting spare doses aside is “good Army general officer planning,” Perna said at the time, “so that we make sure that in case we need to react to some situation we had some reserves.”

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