• The Trump administration rejected Pfizer's offer for more coronavirus vaccine doses
  • A White House officials dismissed the report as "fake" 
  • Trump is expected to sign the "America First" executive order on Tuesday

The Trump administration reportedly rejected Pfizer’s offer for hundreds of millions of additional coronavirus vaccine doses last summer.

Under the White House’s contract with Pfizer, the Trump administration committed to buy 100 million vaccine doses, with an option to purchase an additional 500 million doses. However, the White House did not lock in an additional 100 million doses for the second quarter of 2021.

The decision could delay the delivery of a second batch of doses until Pfizer completes its commitments with other countries, The New York Times reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services insisted that they would have enough coronavirus vaccines to accommodate all Americans by the end of 2021.

“We are confident that we will have 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine as agreed to in our contract, and beyond that, we have five other vaccine candidates,” a spokeswoman said.

The vaccine, produced by Pfizer and German collaborator BioNTech, would be given in two doses. The United States’ 100 million doses would only be enough to inoculate 50 million Americans.

On Monday, a Trump administration official dismissed claims that it turned down Pfizer’s offer for more doses, calling The Times’ report “fake,” and accused the pharmaceutical giant of “planting” the piece, Fox Business reported.

The official claimed the story was part of a negotiating process amid concerns that Pfizer would not be able to produce additional COVID-19 vaccine doses for the U.S. until next summer due to its commitments with foreign nations.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Pfizer said the drugmaker is ready to begin shipping the 100 million doses ordered by the U.S. government as soon as it receives emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

News of Pfizer’s proposal came a day before President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that ensures vaccine shipments are given to Americans before foreign nations.

The “America First” legislation is designed to ensure that the U.S. government will prioritize vaccinating American residents before it assists in domestic inoculations. Additionally, the order also directs government agencies to work together to help international allies procure doses of any COVID-19 vaccine, CNBC reported.

Trump is expected to sign the order during the COVID-19 summit at the White House on Tuesday, a senior administration official familiar with the conversations said. The event will feature discussions over the process of reviewing various vaccine candidates and the distribution of doses.

German biotechnology company BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have produced one of the first Covid-19 vaccines
German biotechnology company BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have produced one of the first Covid-19 vaccines AFP / JOEL SAGET