Washington, Dec. 17
U.S. officials say they are actively negotiating for the additional purchase of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine after being offered the opportunity to lock up a contract in the summer as it was not yet clear how good the pictures work.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and special adviser Dr Moncef Slaoui also told reporters on Wednesday that Pfizer was unable to guarantee a firm delivery date. Azar said that was “the main issue”.
There was no immediate comment from the company, Chief Albert Bourla told CNN this week that they are “working very cooperatively” with the government to deliver the extra vaccine during Operation Federal Warp Speed. It is a White House – backed, taxpayer – backed effort to rapidly develop coronavirus vaccines and treatments.
Meanwhile, the FDA said late Wednesday that some Pfizer vaccine vials may contain more than the usual five doses. The FDA statement came after reports from hospital and pharmacy staff that some of the filters appeared to have been filled. The FDA advised health professionals to use all full doses “with the public health emergency”.
The group said it was in contact with Pfizer about the matter.
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The Trump administration has come under false criticism from transport Democrats after news surfaced last week about the missed opportunity to get more vaccinations.
“We are concerned that if we do not provide an adequate supply of unnecessary vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic in this country, causing further loss of life and economic destruction,” said a group of seniors led by Patty Murray of Washington and Ron Wyden of Oregon. wrote to the HHS.
“We fear that this is another example in which the failure of the Trump administration could develop a comprehensive national vaccination plan in good time for efforts to get people vaccinated and ultimately end this pandemic,” read the letter again.
Azar was trying to postpone that issue on Wednesday, saying pending contracts with several manufacturers will ensure the vaccine gets enough for all Americans around the middle of nowhere. next year. A second vaccine from Moderna is emerging with a head for Food and Drug Administration approval within days, with more vaccine applicants advancing through clinical trials.
But the one from Pfizer and German medicine BioNTech went into American arms, raising hopes of eradicating a pandemic that has killed and eradicated more than 3,00,000 people in the U.S. to much of the national economy. Health care workers and nursing home residents are at the top of the list as local TV stations across the country broadcast broadcasts of the first vaccines.
Some censuses show that suspicion of getting the vaccine is easing.
After an early test failure, Trump administration officials hope to write a very different ending with vaccines. Operation Warp Speed has funded the development, manufacture and distribution of millions of doses, with the goal of providing a free vaccine to any American who wants one.
Pfizer was not as closely involved with Operation Warp Speed as other manufacturers, preferring to control its own development and manufacturing. But the government has entered into a contract to buy 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the first of which was released this week.
There is a question mark over the purchase of another 100 million doses for delivery as early as the middle of next year.
“We are engaged in active negotiations,” Azar said.
Slaoui, a world-renowned vaccine scientist who is helping to lead the federal effort, said the all-time goal is to have a number of promising vaccines in development, with -payment of taxes assumes the financial risk if any vaccine has failed to obtain FDA approval.
“We picked up a package of vaccines to make sure at least one of them made it to the finish line,” he said, adding: “Back in the summer, it wouldn’t make sense to order more from a manufacturer before we do they knew how a vaccine worked. ”
Although initial indications were positive about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a full FDA review did not take place until earlier this month.
Slaoui and Azar also said that because of the relationship of Operation Warp Speed’s relationship with Pfizer, officers did not have as much window into the company’s manufacturing and any problems that might arise. forward.
“We would certainly welcome a further 100 million doses,” said Slaoui, adding that he expected talks with Pfizer to be successful.
With at least one other vaccine appearing on the head for approval, they are already talking about a surplus that could be sent out to the rest of the world. AP