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Canada paid a premium to get COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

Canada paid a premium to get COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

Heavily redacted vaccine contract paperwork released Friday by the federal executive display Canada paid a premium to pace its first Pfizer deliveries to December 2020, and that some vaccine doses may be donated or resold.

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A nurse prepares the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination health facility in Dartmouth, N.S. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech 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, nevertheless any specifics on what brand was paid or how the offer agenda was amended have been deleted ahead of the contract was revealed.

Canada reached a deal with Pfizer in July 2020 to utilize at least 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it was growing with German-based BioNTech. The primary contract was signed on Oct. 26.

Pfizer Canada CEO Cole Pinnow told The Canadian Press in February that Canada’s negotiations have been based on an expectation the first vaccines would no longer be authorized for spend unless late January at the earliest, and deliveries have been planned to start after that.

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 golf green light.

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand, shown listening to a speaker at some stage in a information convention on Dec. 14, repeatedly said the contracts contained confidentiality clauses that prevented her from releasing them. Some contracts with redacted sections have been shared with the House of Commons health committee Friday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

That appears to have despatched Canada racing back to Pfizer to contemplate if its contract may be amended to get some doses delivered early. On Dec. 4, Canada and Pfizer signed an amendment allowing for that, nevertheless at a value.

“Whereas [the] purchaser has requested, and Pfizer has agreed … to amend the offer agenda so that a certain sequence of contracted doses are delivered prior to Jan. 1, 2021 and in consideration thereof the parties have agreed to increase the value contracted doses which are delivered prior to Jan. 1, 2021,” the contract says.

Vaccine approved more posthaste than anticipated

Each detail within the contract related to the value paid for doses was deleted ahead of the paperwork have been made public.

The contract with Pfizer stipulated nothing would be shipped unless Health Canada had authorized the vaccine, which happened on Dec. 9. The primary cargo of 30,000 doses was on a plane to Canada within days and the first Canadian was vaccinated on Dec. 14.

Ultimately, Pfizer shipped 255,450 doses ahead of Jan. 1. It has since delivered more than 22.5 million photos, and its vaccine has develop into the main component of Canada’s effort to get all 38 million residents immunized against COVID-19.

The specifics of what Canada paid for the 250 million doses of vaccine it pre-purchased have been hard to web. The 2021 budget released in April said the total was somewhere around $9 billion.

The finest value per dose revealed so far was released by accident when the value for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was accidentally left in an email incorporated in a package of paperwork released to the health committee. That email said Canada would pay $8.18 per dose of AstraZeneca, which would amount to $163 million for the 20 million doses ordered.

Vaccine contract paperwork heavily redacted

The Pfizer contract was one among eight quietly shared with the health committee Friday. The committee is learning Canada’s COVID-19 response and has requested a number of paperwork from the chief as a consequence. It’s the first time Canada has supplied any details of its contracts, nevertheless there are a lot of blank pages and deleted details, including all information related to brand or offer schedules.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand has repeatedly said the contracts contained confidentiality clauses that prevented her from releasing them, adding she wasn’t going to violate those clauses and possibility jeopardizing Canada’s vaccine offer.

This supplied image reveals containers of the Pfizer vaccine being processed Dec. 11, 2020, in Cologne, Germany, which would ultimately arrive in Canada. (UPS)

NDP health critic Don Davies said he’s frustrated that the committee’s reveal for unredacted paperwork was uncared for.

“After months of dogged work the opposition finally obtained Canada’s vaccine contracts,” he said on Twitter. “Predictably, Liberals released them late on a Friday with barely a week left within the session. Predictably, they redacted them in violation of the House Uncover.”

The contracts accomplish contain some beforehand unknown details, including the premium for early doses of Pfizer, and the fact that Canada is allowed to donate doses from five of the suppliers to diversified nations or international aid organizations such as the World Health Organization or the COVAX vaccine alliance.

There is no longer a mention of donating doses from Pfizer or Moderna, then again it is allowed for AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Medicago and Sanofi. The contracts also indicate Canada can resell or ask the company to bag diversified investors for doses from J&J, Novavax and Medicago.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make an announcement at the G7 leaders’ summit in England on Sunday saying Canada will donate up to 100 million doses of vaccine to diversified nations, then again it be no longer clear yet how many of those would come from provides initially destined for Canada.

Canada will have almost 50 million excess doses of the four vaccines it has approved, and potentially 124 million more from Sanofi, Medicago and Novavax within the occasion that they total their Phase 3 clinical trials efficiently.

Almost two-thirds of all Canadians are now partly vaccinated, and more than one in 10 are totally vaccinated. Canada is anticipating sufficient doses to vaccinate each Canadian totally by the stop of September.

Canada paid a premium to get COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer earlier than planned