New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking to buy doses of the COVID-19 vaccine directly from Pfizer in response to the slow rollout.
Cuomo requested to buy doses from Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday. However, the company said that while they are open to a model that would help Americans receive the vaccine faster, the Department of Health and Human Services would first need to approve the sale under the emergency use authorization granted by the Food and Drug Administration.
His request comes as frustrations continue to mount with the bumpy start of the vaccine rollout. The Trump administration initially hoped to administer 20 million Americans with the vaccine by the end of 2020. As of January 15th, the U.S. had administered a little over 12 million.
Cuomo has blasted Donald Trump for failing to send New York a substantial amount of vaccine doses despite being one of the hardest-hit states. He confirmed that New York would only be receiving 250,000 doses, 50,000 fewer than the previous week.
In his request, Cuomo stated that Pfizer should have no issue selling the vaccine to his New York directly since the company is not bound by Operation Warp Speed, which is a public-private partnership initiated by the U.S. government to accelerate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The company’s decision to opt-out of Operation Warp Speed, which the Biden administration plans to overhaul, puts it in a unique situation that could help us save lives right here in New York,” Cuomo pointed out.
The Department of Health and Human Services has not yet commented on whether they would be exploring the sale.