The Reason Pfizer's CEO Hasn't Gotten the COVID Vaccine
With millions of Americans vaccinated and many millions more to go, some people need a bit more persuasion than others. Americans who are hesitant to get the COVID vaccine might be looking to public figures to signal that the shot is safe. If that's the case, they'll have to look further than Pfizer's CEO, Albert Bourla. While you might assume that the CEO of the pharmaceutical company that's pumping out a life-altering vaccine would be first in line to sit down for the shot, Bourla has yet to get his own vaccine. To see why the Pfizer CEO hasn't been vaccinated yet, read on, and for more essential vaccine news, If You're Over 65, You Shouldn't Get This New Vaccine, Experts Warn.
The Pfizer CEO hasn't yet gotten his vaccine because he's respecting the vaccination priority order.
As eager as Bourla is to get the vaccine, he is currently waiting his turn. Pfizer confirmed on Feb. 1 via email that Bourla has not yet received the COVID vaccine. "The focus of the initial doses is on priority groups defined by health authority guidelines," said a spokesperson for Pfizer. The priority groups include people in long-term care facilities, people over 65, and people with underlying conditions, though they vary from state to state. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Bourla will get the vaccine as soon as possible, but he doesn't want to cut the line.
The Pfizer CEO "is looking forward to being vaccinated, and he will be at the earliest possible time," the spokesperson continued. On Dec. 14, Bourla told CNBC he would get the vaccine as soon as possible, noting the only thing holding him back was that he didn't want to set a bad example that cutting the line was okay. "I'm 59 years old, in good health," he noted. "I'm not working in the front line. And so, my type is not recommended to get vaccination now. As soon as I can, I will." And for more on vaccine reactions, Dr. Fauci Says These 2 Side Effects Mean Your COVID Vaccine Is Working.
The Pfizer CEO understands his influence and wants to show that the vaccine is safe.
Bourla believes that people are paying attention to his vaccination status, and he doesn't take that responsibility lightly. "Our company ran a lot of polls to see what would take people to believe [it's safe]. And one of the highest-ranking—even higher than if Joe Biden takes it, even higher than if the other presidents take it, is if the CEO of the company takes it," Bourla told CNBC. If the CEO were to get vaccinated sooner, he would do so "just to demonstrate the confidence of the company."
However, Bourla stressed that if he does get a vaccine ahead of schedule, none of the executives or board members of Pfizer would skip the line with him. He said they would get the shot based on their ages and occupations, like everyone else. And for more on staying safe from COVID, If You Wear Your Mask Like This, You're Not Getting "Maximal Protection."
Pfizer recently announced that they would be able to ship out more vaccines sooner than expected.
As CNN reported, on Jan. 26, Bourla announced that Pfizer would be able to fulfill the U.S.' contracted number of vaccine doses two months earlier than projected. "In the U.S., we had promised to provide 100 million doses by the end of the first quarter, and we will be able to provide 120 right now," he said during the Bloomberg "The Year Ahead" event.
"The same is with the second quarter. We were planning to provide them all the way to 200 million doses by the end of the second quarter, actually beginning of the third. Right now, we will be able to provide the 200 million doses two months earlier," Bourla added. And for more coronavirus news, If You Have This Common Habit, Your COVID Symptoms Will Be Worse.