The U.S. government is close to a deal to acquire tens of millions of additional doses of Pfizer’s vaccine in exchange for helping the pharmaceutical giant gain better access to manufacturing supplies.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the deal is under discussion and could be finalized shortly. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to describe ongoing deliberations.
Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration and initial shipments went to states last week. It has now been joined by a vaccine from Moderna, which was developed in closer cooperation with scientists from the National Institutes of Health.
Moderna’s vaccine comes under the umbrella of the government’s own effort, which is called Operation Warp Speed. That public-private endeavor was designed to have millions of vaccine doses ready and available to ship once a shot received FDA approval.
But another deal with Pfizer would move the nation closer to the goal of vaccinating all Americans.
A law dating back to the Korean War gives the government authority to direct private companies to produce critical goods in times of national emergency. Called