Health
Pfizer Canada director says company is ‘extremely committed’ to meeting vaccine delivery targets

Pfizer Canada director says company is ‘extremely committed’ to meeting vaccine delivery targets

The Pfizer Canada chief said the pharmaceutical giant was fully focused on meeting its next delivery targets and there was a possibility the company could continue to speed up shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to the country.

“Pfizer is extremely committed to meeting its contractual obligations, and we have every intention of meeting the four million commitment by the end of March that the Prime Minister spoke about,” Pfizer Chairman Cole Pinnow said on Sunday. Rosemary Barton Live.

“As long as we’re honoring our contract, we don’t really think it’s added value to talk about assumptions,” said Pinnow, interviewed by Rosemary Barton, CBC chief political correspondent, on potential penalties for missed deadlines. .

The first months of the Canadian COVID-19 vaccination campaign were marked by disruptions in the delivery schedule. But on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the country’s vaccine supply would increase in the coming months.

Pfizer is now expected to deliver 2.8 million more shots between April and June than originally planned. Deliveries previously scheduled for later in the year have also been increased, meaning Canada will receive 6.2 million more doses than expected between July and August. Four million more doses of the Moderna vaccine are also expected to arrive this summer.

Regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech product, Pinnow said it was not out of the question that the company’s deliveries to Canada could be rescheduled.

“We will continue to look for opportunities to expedite delivery. We recognize that we want to get as many vaccines back to Canadians as possible.”

Belgian factory provided Pfizer with ‘certainty’

Pfizer’s shipments to Canada have plummeted in recent weeks as the company’s manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium has undergone upgrades to boost production of its vaccine.

The company told the Globe and Mail last November, that Canada would receive doses from the Pfizer plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., but the company backed down from that statement earlier this year.

“We were working to expedite the delivery to Canada of [the vaccine], based on the expedited review process put in place by Health Canada, “Pinnow told Barton.” As part of that, we reassessed what our supply chain plan was going to be.

A driver pulls his truck out of the Pfizer plant in Puurs, Belgium, December 21, 2020. Work to scale up the plant’s manufacturing operations is now complete. (Valentin Bianchi / The Associated Press)

While President of the United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order late last year to ensure that Americans are given priority to receive vaccines developed or purchased by the US government.

“There was some uncertainty with the previous administration, so we wanted to be confident where we were buying the product, and we felt that Belgium was really providing us with more certainty at the time,” said Pinnow.

Secret contracts

Canada is expected to receive 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by September – the federal government’s target month to immunize all Canadians seeking a vaccine.

But under the deal the country signed with the drug company, Canada can receive up to 76 million doses in total.

“We’re always open to talking about additional demand or additional supply,” Pinnow said.

Last week, Federal Supply Minister Anita Anand told Barton she was in talks with pharmaceutical companies over disclosing elements of the contracts Canada has signed with its vaccine suppliers.

Supply Minister Anita Anand told Rosemary Barton of the CBC that Ottawa cannot release information about its agreements with vaccine suppliers without corporate approval. (Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press)

Ottawa and Pfizer have made public the delivery schedules shared by the suppliers, but other details – including how much Canada paid per dose – remain under wraps.

“I think the government and Pfizer recognize that there are business and geopolitical sensitivities to publishing details in the contract,” Pinnow said Sunday. “And so at this point, we’re both honoring the contract, and there’s really no need to divulge those details.”

The director of Pfizer Canada also said that while it is too early to determine whether Canadians will need a booster shot of the vaccine in the years to come, COVID-19 is unlikely to be eradicated immediately.

“We are in the process of analyzing all known variants, and we will continue to monitor for others that may arise in the future,” Pinnow said. “Scientific opinion currently seems to be reaching a consensus that this virus will become endemic in the population in one way or another.”

WATCH | Too early to say if COVID-19 booster injections will be needed, the Pfizer Canada director says:

Pfizer Canada President Cole Pinnow told Rosemary Barton that while the pharmaceutical company is investigating variants of the coronavirus, it is still too early to know whether the COVID-19 booster shots will become a reality. 1h30

You can watch full episodes of Rosemary Barton live on CBC Gem, CBC’s streaming service.

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