Sask. premier urges feds to 'pick up the pace' after a disruption in Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine deliveries
Premier Scott Moe speaks in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press correspondent Stephanie Taylor (not pictured) in the cabinet room at the Legislative Building in Regina on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell
REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s premier expressed concern Tuesday over the apparent lack of communication from the federal government regarding a delay in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Scott Moe said he learned Canada will not be receiving any shipments of the Pfizer vaccine next week while watching the news Tuesday morning.
The province is currently expecting to receive 17,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the next month – nearly 20,000 fewer doses than the 37,000 it was originally anticipating
Moe said the province is in the process of clarifying how this delay will impact Saskatchewan’s vaccine stock, adding that he is urging the feds to find a way to increase supply.
“We need the federal government to pick up the pace of vaccine deliveries in the weeks ahead and pick up the pace of their negotiations and discussions with Pfizer, in particular,” said Moe.
On Tuesday, Ontario premier Doug Ford offered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a colourful suggestion for revving up vaccine procurement from Pfizer officials. Moe said he agrees with Ford’s unconventional advice.
“Maybe light a firecracker up [the Pfizer CEO’s] ying-yang, I think was the words that I heard,” said Moe. “I would just say that there would be a lineup of premiers behind if the prime minister was able to do that. There would be a lineup of premiers behind that would bring a lighter to that party.”
The province’s chief medial health officer said the interruption in vaccine supply brings some logistical hurdles when it come to getting shots into the arms of Saskatchewan people.
“When there is a sudden further disruption that does present challenges for both first doses of people who we were planning to [vaccinate], but also the completion of second doses,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab.
Shahab noted that various experts have said the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine can be given up to 42 days after the first. Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone confirmed the province will continue to work to administer both first and second doses of the vaccine with the limited supply.