The Trump administration is pushing back on reports that it turned down the opportunity to purchase additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the summer.
A White House official told Fox News on Monday that the story, which was first reported by The New York Times, is “fake” and was “planted” by the pharmaceutical giant.
There are concerns Pfizer may not be able to produce additional doses of the vaccine for the U.S. until next summer because of commitments to other countries, which the same White House official told Fox News was simply part of a public negotiating process.
A spokesperson for Pfizer told FOX Business that the U.S. placed an initial order for 100 million doses, which would vaccinate 50 million people, and it is ready to begin shipping as soon as it authorized to do so.
“Any additional doses beyond the 100 million are subject to a separate and mutually-acceptable agreement,” the spokesperson said. “The company is not able to comment on any confidential discussions that may be taking place with the U.S. government.”
Meanwhile, Fox News reported on Monday that Trump is preparing to sign an executive order this week that would prioritize Americans’ access to the vaccine, before it assists partners and allies.
It was reported that both Pfizer and Moderna declined invitations to attend a White House summit on Tuesday where Trump will sign the executive order, which the White House source also says is false. Instead, the administration decided it would be better for the companies not to attend a summit where the regulator that was evaluating its vaccine candidates would be present.
Pfizer and partner BioNTech expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.