Gov. Cuomo Asks Pfizer If NY Can Buy More Vaccine Doses

Gov. Cuomo Asks Pfizer If NY Can Buy More Vaccine Doses andrew cuomo struggles to take off his face mask before a news conference Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 18 January 2021 03:42 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla on Monday if the state can purchase additional doses of the coronavirus vaccine directly from the company.

In a press conference Monday, Cuomo slammed the Trump administration for the slow rollout of the vaccine, which is providing doses to states.

"The problem was created by the federal negligence in the first place," he said, according to Fox Business. "The federal government is in control of the supply. They must increase the supply. Approve Johnson & Johnson, expedite that. Buy more Pfizer. Buy more Moderna."

He added, "As a state, we're trying to do everything we can. Pfizer is technically not bound by any federal agreement because they did not get engaged in what the federal government called Operation Warp Speed.

"Pfizer is a New York company; they're headquartered here, and I sent a letter asking if New York could buy directly from Pfizer."

Cuomo said in a letter to Bourla: "The company's decision to opt out of Operation Warp Speed . . . puts it in a unique situation that could help us save lives right here in New York," but the company said in a statement the Department of Health and Human Services would have to approve any agreement.

According to the statement, 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."