New York, Michigan governors want to buy COVID-19 vaccines directly from Pfizer

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have made requests to purchase COVID-19 vaccines directly from Pfizer, citing inadequate allocations from the federal government.

Mr. Cuomo sent a letter to Pfizer Jan. 18 asking if New York could buy doses directly from the drugmaker. During a Jan. 15 news briefing, he said that the state received 50,000 fewer doses than the week before. 

"I think Governor Cuomo, himself, had said back in the spring that the situation around ventilators was essentially 'one big Ebay' with all of the states bidding against one another for ventilators, and I think this kind of an approach to vaccine allocation is going to result, frankly, in the same kind of situation that he, himself, was criticizing last spring," Celine Gounder, MD, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, told CNBC Jan. 18.

Ms. Whitmer also made a request that her state purchase COVID-19 vaccines directly from Pfizer in a Jan. 11 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Pfizer is open to the idea of selling COVID-19 vaccines directly to states, but doing so would require approval from HHS, Pfizer spokesperson Jerica Pitts told The Wall Street Journal Jan. 19.

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