Initially, Pfizer's Board member affirmed that the U.S. government had turned down the offer. Later, Pfizer changed its stance.
In July, the U.S. government placed an initial order of 100 million doses for $1.95 billion with Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
In addition to that, the government was also to acquire another 500 million doses. During the agreement, the company had anticipated they would manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Scott Gottlieb, a Board Member of Pfizer and former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 8, told on CNBC's Squawk Box that Donald Trump's administration had denied the proposal to continue the supply of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine the second quarter of 2021. He addressed that the agreement in July was not a purchase deal but an optional one. The U.S. Government had made an advance purchase deal ascertaining that if the vaccine clears all the safety and security checks, the U.S. Government shall acquire vaccines worth 100 million. He said that the company was working very collaboratively with the U.S. but has not signed an agreement.
Gottlieb agreed that Pfizer had offered the U.S Government multiple deals from producing an additional plant for the additional doses for the second quarter of 2021. This was after the interim data came out, and Pfizer knew the vaccine looked to be effective. Gottlieb said the U.S. Government likely backed out of the deal as they would buy vaccines from multiple manufacturers for 100 million. According to the U.S. Government, there shall be many authorized vaccines. He added that as it was only an advance purchase deal, Pfizer had gone ahead and entered into some agreements with other countries to sell them some of that vaccine in the second quarter of 2021.
On Dec. 8, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) tweeted that they were confident that they should have enough doses for any American who wants a vaccine by the end of the second quarter across their portfolio of multiple vaccines of 2021.
An HHS spokesman tweeted - At no time did OWS turned down an offer from Pfizer for any number of millions of doses having a firm delivery date and quantity, and it's a shame that someone is misinforming the American public. The negotiations for the additional doses deal in progress.
Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told on CNBC's Squawk Box on Dec. 14 that the agreements were coming as Pfizer were negotiating, they were trying to spread it, but eventually, the orders were much more than what they could produce. They were trying to allocate it as the countries were ordering.
Then again, Gottlieb told on CNBC on Dec. 14 that in Nov., the last discussions on the additional doses took place. The Federal Government was considering to restart the conversation on the agreement. He informed that the other countries had already signed deals with Pfizer for vaccines. The supply section is coming in the middle while dealing with countries. The U.S. Government is trying to negotiate after countries have started signing agreements with Pfizer. He ascertained that the U.S. Government would come up with a plan to provide vaccines for the second quarter of 2021.
The U.S. Government is under negotiation with Pfizer for additional doses. They may try to get vaccines from other manufacturers also. There are no direct statements from the government about the deals other than from Pfizer company itself. Therefore claim on the Trump administration turning down Pfizer's offer on additional doses is partly true.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.