Pfizer’s CEO has not yet taken his own company’s coronavirus vaccine to avoid the appearance that executives are not using their positions to get early access to shots, he told CNN on Monday.
‘No I haven’t taken it yet and we are having an ethical committee dealing with the question of who is getting it,’ Albert Bourla said as the first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine was being rolled out to Americans.
But he added: ‘The sooner I can, I will.’
Bourla described deciding when to get vaccinated as a fine line. On one hand, polling has showed that the CEO of a vaccine-making company getting the shot would boost trust in it more than even seeing national leaders get vaccinated.
On the other hand, coronavirus has hit health care workers and disadvantaged people, including the poor and elderly, hardest, so Bourla said his company wants to be careful that it doesn’t appear priority access is given to its higher-ups.
At 59, and without a job that puts him on the frontlines, it isn’t Bourla’s turn to be vaccinated yet, according to CDC guidelines.
‘I was hoping, and aspiring and I was driving everything so we could do it, but deep inside me, I thought it was a very stretch goal and there is a small possibility to make it, but we made it,’ Bourla said on Squawk Box.
Pfizer developed and distributed the first COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. within just 11 months of scientists working out the genome of the new virus to base the shot on.
A New York nurse became the first American vaccinated on Monday morning. Vaccines are slated to arrive in all 50 states Monday morning, and Pfizer’s first 2.9 million doses of vaccine will be distributed cross the country beginning today.