ALBANY, N.Y. – In hopes of speeding up vaccination, New York State wants to buy doses of the Pfizer vaccine directly from the company, instead of waiting for the federal government to receive doses and allocate them to the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter to Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla on Monday, asking him to allow the state to bypass the feds and purchase doses right from the company.
Pfizer says the company would need approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to sell directly to state governments.
In a statement sent to NEWSChannel 2, Pfizer said they are open to collaborating, but would require approval from HHS based on the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) they received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Here is the full Pfizer statement:
“We appreciate Governor Cuomo’s kind words and the pride he expressed in his letter that Pfizer is a New York-headquartered company. Pfizer is open to collaborating with HHS on a distribution model that gives as many Americans as possible access to our vaccine as quickly as possible. However, before we can sell directly to state governments, HHS would need to approve that proposal based on the EUA granted to Pfizer by the FDA.”
Cuomo says at the rate the state is receiving doses from the feds -- roughly 300,000 per week -- it would take six months to get through the eligible populations in Phases 1A and 1B, including those over 65, health care workers, public safety employees, teachers and others.
Read Cuomo's full letter to Bourla below: