White House denies report it rejected Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses

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The White House said Monday a report suggesting it passed up coronavirus vaccine doses from Pfizer is “false” and it believes there will be sufficient doses from multiple drugmakers to immunize all Americans who desire the shots by the second quarter of 2021.

Senior administration officials were responding to a New York Times story that said the administration balked at a late-summer chance to add to the 100 million doses, enough for 50 million people, that President Trump secured in a previous deal.

The story said Pfizer might not be able to offer additional doses to the U.S. until June, due to commitments with other nations, but senior administration officials said there is a mix of drugmakers who can offer enough doses to take care of American needs.

“We have continued to negotiate with all of the vaccine manufacturers,” a senior administration official said. “We’re not going to talk about those because those negotiations are underway.”

Also, officials said Mr. Trump will sign an executive order at a White House vaccine summit on Tuesday that directs the U.S. will satisfy the needs of American patients before it finds ways to get more vaccines into the hands of countries that need them.

Senior administration officials said it is a “reaffirmation” of the president’s “America first” agenda.

Tuesday’s summit will feature remarks from Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and panel discussions with the FDA on how it vets and approves the vaccines; with UPS, FedEx, McKesson and Thermo Fisher Scientific on how the vaccines and kits will be transported; with CVS and Walgreens on how shots will be administered into arms; and with Republican governors, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, on the interplay between state and federal plans for distribution.

Officials said Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is a “leading and trusted” voice on vaccines and wanted to be there but had a scheduling conflict and couldn’t make it.

Also missing will be Moderna and Pfizer, which are producing the vaccines set for approval by the FDA.

Senior administration officials said they decided it would be better for them not to attend, given the inclusion of Peter Marks, a top FDA official who will sign off on whether to grant the company’s requests for emergency-use authorization.

“There was a change of direction, in light of the fact we’d have the regulator participating in the event it was more appropriate not to have one or more companies with pending applications before the FDA participating in the event,” an official said.

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