Pfizer CEO says executives will not ‘cut the queue’ to be vaccinated

‘They will take it as their age and occupation type is,' Albert Bourla says

Louise Hall
Monday 14 December 2020 19:09 GMT
No-Pfizer executives will “cut the queue" to be vaccinated, CEO says

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has said that company executives will not “cut the line” for vaccination but said that he may take the shot soon to help “build confidence in the company”.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday Mr Bourla said that he had not yet received the vaccine due to ethical reasons, given that there are very strict allocation rules.

"I'm 59 years old, in good health, I'm not working in the front line. So, my type is not recommended to get vaccinated," he said.

However, the CEO explained that he would like to find a way to receive the vaccine sooner rather than later as the company’s research shows that it would help to build public trust in the jab.

"On the other hand, our company ran a lot of polls to see what would take people to believe it, and one of the highest-ranking, even higher than if Joe Biden takes it, even higher than if the other President takes it, it is if the CEO of the company takes it," he said.

"So, with that in mind, I'm trying to find a way that I would get vaccinated despite that it's not my time, just to demonstrate the confidence of the company."

Mr Bourla said that even if he received the jab to build public confidence, the vaccination would not be extended to executives and it would be administered when appropriate.

"So, none of the executives or board members will cut the line, they will take it as their age and occupation type is," said Mr Bourla.

While discussing the same issue in an interview with CNN on the same day, Mr Bourla said the company “are very sensitive not to cut the queue and have people getting vaccinated before.”

The first wave of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is set for distribution this week after it was given final approval by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in the country on Friday.

The majority of US residents are not expected to receive the vaccine until spring 2021, with healthcare workers and nursing home residents being prioritised for the shot.

Donald Trump faced backlash on Monday amid a report by The New York Times that those who work closest to the president would be prioritised to receive the vaccine first.

Later on Monday, the president said he had intervened to stop a large-scale roll-out at the White House, and that workers “will receive the vaccine somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary.”

Experts have stipulated that vaccine distribution won’t stop the current surge in deaths as a result of the virus, fearing the Christmas season could only worsen the pandemic.

In a sobering warning on Thursday Robert Redfield, the Director of the Centres for Disease Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the US is likely to see daily coronavirus deaths exceed the toll of 9/11 for up to three months despite the vaccine's approval.

“The reality is the vaccine approval this week's not going to really impact that I think to any degree for the next 60 days,” Mr Redfield said.

Health officials have urged citizens to continue to wear masks in public settings, avoid large gatherings, and practice stringent hygiene measures to stem the spread of the disease.

Across the US the coronavirus pandemic has led to the deaths of more than 290,000 people, with more than 16 million confirmed infections.

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