Trump officials passed on ‘multiple’ offers to buy more Pfizer vaccine, Gottlieb says

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, now a member of the Pfizer board of directors, said Tuesday that the pharmaceutical giant offered the Trump administration the chance to buy additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine multiple times, but that officials turned down the offers.

The comments from Gottlieb confirm a report in The New York Times, which on Monday revealed that additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine, beyond the 100 million already purchased, may not be available in the U.S. until June because they were committed to other countries after the Trump administration passed on them.

“Pfizer did offer an additional allotment coming out of that [Michigan] plant, basically the second quarter allotment, to the United States government multiple times, and as recently as after the interim data came out and we knew this vaccine looked to be effective,” Gottlieb said on CNBC.

While Trump administration officials denied the Times report during a background call with reporters on Monday, they have stressed that their strategy has always been to spread their bets across six different companies working on vaccines, not just Pfizer.

Moncef Slaoui, the chief science adviser for the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, did not deny the Times report on Tuesday and instead emphasized that the administration is relying on six different companies, not just Pfizer.