Canada received Pfizer COVID-19 doses earlier than planned, but paid premium
|globalnews.ca 12 Jun 2021 at 16:43|
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Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine delivered last December, weeks earlier than planned.
The detail is contained in heavily redacted contracts released to the House of Commons health committee late Friday, but any specifics on what price was paid or how the delivery schedule was amended were deleted before the contract was published.
Canada reached a deal with Pfizer in July 2020 to buy at least 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it was developing with German-based BioNTech. The first contract was signed on Oct. 26.
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But within a month of the contract being signed, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, was signalling that her department was about two weeks away from giving the vaccine the green light.
That appears to have sent Canada racing back to Pfizer to see if its contract could be amended to get some doses delivered early. On Dec. 4, Canada and Pfizer signed an amendment allowing for that, but at a cost.
“Whereas (the) purchaser has requested, and Pfizer has agreed …. to amend the delivery schedule so that a certain number of contracted doses are delivered prior to Jan. 1, 2021 and in consideration thereof the parties have agreed to increase the price contracted doses which are delivered prior to Jan. 1, 2021,” the contract says.
The contract with Pfizer stipulated nothing would be shipped until Health Canada had authorized the vaccine, which happened on Dec. 9. The first shipment of 30,000 doses was on a plane to Canada within days and the first Canadian was vaccinated on Dec. 14.