Cuomo Asks Pfizer to Sell COVID-19 Vaccines Directly to NY State
By Yehudit Garmaise
Hoping to speed up the process by which New York state receives additional COVID vaccination, today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter to Pfizer’s chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, MD, asking for permission for New York state to purchase COVID-19 vaccines directly from the pharmaceutical company, rather than waiting for allocations through the federal government.
“Because you are not bound by commitments that Moderna made as part of Operation Warp Speed, I am requesting that the state of New York be permitted to directly purchase doses from you,” the Gov. Cuomo wrote in his letter to Pfizer.
In addition to working to bypass the red tape of the federal government, Gov. Cuomo also tweeted that he is looking “look at every opportunity to speed up the vaccination process.
“As supply ramps up, we’re ready.”
To date, 1 million out of 19.45 million New Yorkers have been vaccinated.
While the state has seen an overall decline in COVID-19 rates after the end-of-the-year holiday surge, new variants, such as the United Kingdom strain of the virus could contribute to a second wave, said Cuomo, who noted that new COVID strains that have been detected in South Africa and Brazil could also be on their way to New York state.
“The state is in a footrace with the virus, and we will lose unless we dramatically increase the number of doses getting to New Yorkers,” said the governor, as he explained his efforts to increase the supply of COVID vaccines to New York as soon as possible.
“If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is right, and the U.K. strain becomes dominant in March, that would then see an increased infection rate, and that would not be good,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I still don’t understand how the CDC and the federal government can project or anticipate an action, but do nothing.”
(Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)