States Complain of Smaller Covid Vaccine Shipments Than Expected

The corporate additionally stated it had shared with the federal authorities “each side” of its manufacturing and distribution course of. “They’ve visited our services, walked the manufacturing traces and been up to date on our manufacturing planning as data has develop into accessible,” the assertion stated.

This fall, Pfizer halved initial estimates that it may make 100 million doses by the top of the yr after working into manufacturing delays attributable to difficulties finding gear and uncooked supplies, in addition to needing extra doses for an enlargement of its medical trial. In November, the chief government, Dr. Albert Bourla, stated about 25 million doses would go to the US. On Wednesday, a Pfizer spokeswoman stated that the corporate would have the ability to distribute 20 million doses in December in the US.

The controversy over short-term deliveries is taking part in out in opposition to a backdrop of tense negotiations between Pfizer and the federal government over a new contract for tens of millions of more doses within the first half of subsequent yr. The 2 sides hope to succeed in an settlement by Christmas, however Pfizer has stated it wants the federal authorities to make use of its authority to power suppliers to prioritize its orders — a request that one particular person aware of the negotiations stated has been pending for months.

The federal government needs Pfizer to promote it 100 million extra doses — sufficient to cowl an extra 50 million Individuals — between the beginning of April and the top of June. Pfizer has stated that it could possibly solely present about 70 million doses then as a result of different nations have already purchased its remaining inventory.

The difficulty is particularly fraught as a result of, in line with folks aware of Pfizer’s model of occasions, the firm repeatedly asked the Trump administration to pre-order extra doses starting in late summer time however the administration didn’t act till Nov. 25 — greater than two weeks after Pfizer introduced the outcomes from medical trials displaying its vaccine was secure and greater than 95 % efficient.

Now each side are scrambling to determine how Pfizer can increase its manufacturing to double the variety of doses the agency can ship for Individuals within the first half of subsequent yr. Thus far, the Trump administration has solely locked in a complete of 300 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna. As a result of each vaccines require two doses, excluding the kids and youngsters for whom no vaccine is but accredited, that also leaves greater than 100 million Individuals uncovered.

Alex M. Azar, the secretary of Well being and Human Companies, alluded to the friction with Pfizer in an interview on Thursday morning with CNBC, saying “I do want we might simply cease speaking about this Pfizer factor.” He added that the federal authorities was keen to assist Pfizer manufacture extra “if they’re keen to take our assist.”

Abby Goodnough contributed reporting.

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