‘I don’t buy any of that crap,’ Ford says of Pfizer’s explanation of COVID vaccine delay
Published Thursday, January 21, 2021 2:26PM EST
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he doesn’t accept the explanation given by a major global vaccine maker as to why its coroanvirus vaccine deliveries are falling to zero next week.
Ford told media Tuesday that after a phone call with the head of Pfizer Canada, where they told him they are retooling- prompting the delay- something Ford said he could not accept.
“They were saying they’re reconstructing another line in Belgium – I don’t buy any of that crap. Bottom line is get us the (vaccines). Simple as that. I don’t care what you’re building, You can throw any excuse you want at me I don’t buy it,” Ford said in Oshawa on Thursday.
“It’s simple, we placed an order, we have a contract, meet the obligations of the contract because lives are right now in jeopardy if you continue screwing this up.”
Pfizer has told the federal government, which procures COVID-19 vaccines for all provinces and territories, that deliveries will fall to zero on the week of Jan. 25 and stay 45 to 55 per cent below what was agreed upon for three further weeks, as it works to expand production at its Puurs, Belgium manufacturing plant.
But the European Union is not facing such severe drops in deliveries, with member states reporting delivery drops between 8 and 25 per cent.
The delivery delays have forced Ontario to cancel inoculations for everyone except long-term care residents and staff, as well as those awaiting their second and final shot.
But some will wait up to twice as long as first anticipated to receive a second shot due to the delivery slowdown.
Ford then repeated his appeal to newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden to send Ontario vaccines.
“President Biden, we need your support – you have millions of doses six hours away, your number one ally in the world needs your help right now.”
Pfizer has a manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which has so far delivered 32.3 million doses of vaccine to the United States as of Jan. 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Ontario has received 277,000 doses of vaccine between Moderna and Pfizer total as of today.
The company says it will make up for delivery delays by the end of March.
On Tuesday, while on Canadian national television, Ford threatened to shove an incendiary device into the “ying-yang” of any Pfizer executive if they did not give Ontario more coronavirus vaccines.
All vaccine procurement in Canada is handled federally.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand told reporters yesterday Pfizer has assured them Canada will be treated equitably.