With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine poised for Food and Drug Administration authorization for emergency use, there’s speculation about when the United States will buy another batch of doses — and whether the Trump administration already missed its chance.
Although a Pfizer board member says the government declined to buy more doses beyond the initial 100 million agreed upon in July, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says that this is inaccurate. According to Azar, the company never made a formal offer saying how many doses it would deliver and when — two things that are needed to sign an additional deal.
It’s not unusual for a company under contract with the government to suggest a modification, such as more doses in the first allotment, said Franklin Turner, a partner at McCarter & English who specializes in government contracting. But there can be any number of reasons the government might decline.
“If I had a dime for every time the government took a step or a position that seems counterintuitive and quite frankly, mind-boggling, I’d be a very rich human being at this point in my life,” Turner said.