US officials say that they are actively negotiating for additional purchases of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, after passing up a chance to lock in a contract this past summer, since it was then unclear how well the shots would work.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and special adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui also tells reporters on Wednesday that Pfizer has been unable to commit to a firm delivery date. Azar calls that “the core issue.”
There is no immediate comment from the company, whose CEO, Albert Bourla, told CNN this week that it is “working very collaboratively” with the government to deliver additional vaccine through the federal Operation Warp Speed. That is a White House-backed, taxpayer-funded effort to quickly develop coronavirus vaccines and treatments.
The Trump administration has come under scathing criticism from congressional Democrats after news leaked out last week about the foregone vaccine opportunity.