Vaccine maker Pfizer says it has second doses of coronavirus vaccines ready to ship as needed – something that should reassure governors infuriated by the federal government’s announcement that it does not have a reserve stockpile of vaccine doses.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday there was no reserve stockpile, even though the Trump administration has been telling states for weeks it is holding onto second doses of vaccine to make sure people who get one dose can get the second shot on time.
Pfizer says it’s holding the vaccine doses.
“Operation Warp Speed (OWS) has asked us to start shipping second doses only recently. As a result, we have on hand all the second doses of the previous shipments to the US. We are working around the clock to produce millions more each day,” Pfizer said in a statement sent to CNN.
“We have and are continuing to work closely with OWS on our production, release and shipping schedules – to ensure Americans receive their first and second doses of the vaccine on time. We have provided OWS with a specific schedule and we foresee no issues in delivering on the commitments we have made,” the company added.
“Our facility in Kalamazoo, MI, is the primary manufacturing site of our COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. and we have shipped more than 15 million doses to destinations across the country as of today. We anticipate no interruptions in shipments at this facility, as we look to scale up our production of the vaccine to produce 2 billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021 (up from the previously communicated approximately 1.3 billion).”
Pfizer is contracted to supply the US with 200 million doses.