The Trump administration turned down more vaccine doses ‘as recently as November,’ former FDA commissioner says

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  • The Trump administration once again rejected an offer from Pfizer for more COVID-19 vaccines “as recently as November,” according to former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

  • “There were multiple conversations with the U.S. government about taking more supply in the second quarter,” Gottlieb, who is a Pfizer board member, told CNBC on Monday.

  • This comes on the heels of the Trump administration reportedly rejecting 100 million doses of Pfizer’s recently approved COVID-19 vaccine over the summer, according to The New York Times.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC on Monday that the Trump administration declined an offer from Pfizer for more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine “as recently as November.”

“There were multiple conversations with the U.S. government about taking more supply in the second quarter,” said Gottlieb, who is a Pfizer board member. “The company wasn’t taken up on the offer as recently as November.”

This news follows a New York Times report earlier this week that the White House in the summer rejected 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses developed by the pharmaceutical giant and BioNTech.

The broader implications, according to Gottlieb, are that other countries will swoop in to claim the doses rejected by the US.

“In the interim, other countries have put in orders for those supplies,” he said. “I think they’re going to work this out. I think hopefully we’ll find a way to increase supply and be able to get the government what the government needs.”

Gottlieb also noted how dealing with the US government on the vaccine has been “challenging,” even given Pfizer’s status as an American company.

“This is an American company, we want to work with the US government,” he said. “But this has been a challenging process because there have been multiple conversations happening as recently as November, and now they’re coming back and wanting to restart those conversations when other commitments have been made in the interim.”

The supply of COVID-19 vaccines should not be an issue in the short term, Gottlieb added.

But by April of next year, supply of the Pfizer vaccine could run low stateside, he said.

Still, Gottlieb said, “I think this will get worked out.”

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