Temporary delays in Pfizer vaccines are ‘largely behind us’, procurement minister says

Temporary delays in Pfizer vaccines are ‘largely behind us’, procurement minister says

Federal Supply Minister Anita Anand said Canadians can soon expect the COVID-19 inoculation campaign to gain momentum after the vaccine rollout in Canada was temporarily beset by delivery delays and reduced dose shipments.

“The temporary delays that we have seen are largely behind us,” Anand said on Sunday. Rosemary Barton Live.

“The delays that we have seen in Europe, from Pfizer, for example, have been very disappointing and of great concern to me and to our government. But I have received assurances from vaccine manufacturers that these delays are temporary and that we are completely on the right track, ”added the Minister.

Pfizer cut its delivery schedule last month as the pharmaceutical company modernized its manufacturing facility in Belgium to boost production of its vaccine.

It is also unclear how many doses of Moderna Canada will receive over the next few weeks, with the Major-General. Dany Fortin – the military commander leading vaccine logistics in Canada – said the government did not know how many vaccines would be scheduled in the next two months.

The Massachusetts-based company did not provide an explanation for the reduction in shipments.

Deployment to accelerate mid-February

Anand, however, supported Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s goal of receiving six million hits of COVID-19 by the end of March.

The minister told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton that she had received “strong confirmation” from suppliers that four million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech product and another two million of Moderna will arrive. ‘here this date.

Canada should be ready to accelerate the rollout of vaccines in the country in the weeks and months to come, Anand said.

“As of February 15, the slope will be steep, and provinces and territories should be aware that this will happen. And we’re going to have to have all hands on deck for large-scale vaccine deployment. from.”

Federal government based planned allowancesCanada can expect to receive just over 70,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the coming week, with that number rising to about 336,000 by the week of February 15.

Spending on vaccine agreements expected to increase

According to last year’s fall economic statement, the federal government has spent over $ 1 billion on its portfolio of vaccine agreements.

But that figure will change, Anand said, because of the developments that took place around this time.

Vaccine shipments to Canada were halted last month due to renovations at the Pfizer plant in Puurs, Belgium. (Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press)

“For example, we bought options from Pfizer and Moderna at the end of 2020. In addition, we completed the [advanced purchase agreement] with Novavax. We will therefore come back to you with a revised figure, ”she said.

Anand said the details of these contracts cannot be released without the agreement of the drug companies, “which is … a conversation I’m involved in at the moment.”

Last month the European Union published a redacted version of its contract with AstraZeneca in the midst of a dispute over delivery delays.

“As a government, we do not want to undermine or even violate these confidentiality clauses and put our vaccine purchases at risk. It would be a very dangerous situation from a health and safety point of view,” Anand said. .

In another interview, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh told Barton that while he hopes Canada will meet its goal of vaccinating all Canadians who want an injection by September, he also wants to see more transparency of from the Liberal government.

“We know that with the Moderna vaccine, we don’t know how many doses we will get next week or the week after. So the lack of clarity, lack of detail really erodes that confidence.”

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

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