Prime Minister Trudeau says he spoke to the President of Moderna this morning to ensure that doses of vaccines from Europe will indeed be delivered to Canada on time.
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Justin Trudeau was reacting to European attempts to control exports outside Europe of vaccines developed and produced in European Union (EU) countries.
These measures recall the desire of former US President Donald Trump to prevent exports to Canada of masks produced in the United States.
- Listen to the interview of Conservative MP Pierre Paul-Hus with Benoit Dutrizac on QUB Radio:
While defending itself from showing protectionism, the EU has indicated that it will put in place a mechanism this week that will require pharmaceuticals to notify it of all their exports abroad.
This concerns Moderna, which has facilities in Spain in particular, but also Pfizer, which produces its vaccine in Belgium, and Astrazeneca, whose vaccine is about to be authorized in Europe and under review in Canada.
None of these three vaccines are produced on Canadian soil.
Prime Minister Trudeau ensures that he is in daily contact with the Moderna and Pfizer teams “to confirm that we will receive all the doses for which we have signed contracts”.
“We are convinced that our suppliers will fulfill their contractual obligations”, added the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand, ensuring that Canada would have enough doses to vaccinate all Canadians who want it by September.
Europeans on edge
European authorities have been at loggerheads with pharmaceuticals since Pfizer announced that it had to reduce deliveries due to work at its Belgian plant.
The laboratory has also cut by 20% the number of vials delivered to European states because it is possible to extract six doses from each vial rather than the five originally planned.
However, “the EU had invested large amounts (…) precisely to ensure that production ramps up” before its marketing, said the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
- Listen to Caroline St-Hilaire and Antoine Robitaille’s analysis with Benoit Dutrizac on QUB Radio:
“Europe has invested billions to develop the first vaccines and create a real global common good. Now companies have to keep their promises, ”she scolded.
By reserving and paying for a large number of doses in advance, Canada has also invested in the development of anti-covidial vaccines. That’s why it was among the first countries to be supplied in December