U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to sign an executive order being aimed at giving Americans the priority to access the coronavirus vaccines shouldn’t affect the doses earmarked for the Canadian citizens, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, as stated on Tuesday.
LeBlanc stated that they are confident that Pfizer and other vaccine makers that are contractually obligated to deliver the doses to Canada shall be able to meet those obligations.
Senior U.S. administration officials have announced that Trump has planned to sign the America First executive order on Tuesday. The order shall give Americans the priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine before assisting other nations.
The officials also explained that the order would establish a framework for the U.S. government agencies to lend a hand to other nations in their vaccine procurement efforts that is once the demand of the U.S. has been met.
The decision made by Trump to sign the America first executive order comes as Canada seems to be poised to receive the green light from Health Canada on the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine candidate. The officials said that the vaccine is on track for regulatory approval this week, with jabs going into the Canadian arms next week.
Some of Pfizer’s vaccine doses that are being manufactured in the United States are prompting questions about how the executive order could thereby affect the doses that are destined to land on Canadian soil.
LeBlanc has assured that Canada has prepared for this possibility. He also stated that concerning the Pfizer doses that they expect shall start arriving in the coming days they have already assumed that they shouldn’t be tied to one particular manufacturing site. Therefore the contracts themselves have contemplated that Pfizer for example, has manufactured the facilities in Europe as well as the United States.
They are confident that there won’t be any disruption in the timely supply of vaccines to the Canadians and said that Canada has contemplated this kind of vaccine nationalism in its procurement agreements previously.
LeBlanc said that from the beginning they have a diversified portfolio, one of the best in terms of different doses, different companies, and obviously all subjected to the appropriate regulatory approval by Health Canada, he added.
The New York Times has reported that Pfizer might be able to provide additional doses of its vaccine to U.S. citizens until next June due to its prior commitment to other countries.
A spokesperson named Sharon Castillo from Pfizer said that the U.S. government has placed an initial order of 100 million doses for Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine doses that are ready to be shipped soon. And, any additional doses beyond the 100 million are subjected to a separate and mutually acceptable agreement.
On Monday, the officials told that Canada is slated to receive 249000 doses of the vaccine candidate before the year ends.
The government has already signed on to buy at least 20 million doses from Pfizer, with the option of purchasing another 56 million doses within the deal, and that each Canadian shall need two doses of the vaccine.
With a population of approximately 38 million, the Pfizer deal alone allows for the purchase of enough vaccine doses to satisfy the entire nation. Canada is in the process of reviewing three other vaccine candidates, including one from Moderna and if that vaccine candidate is approved then the company would also deliver 2 million doses in early 2021.