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Doug Ford called Pfizer Canada president seeking answers on cancelled COVID-19 vaccine shipments

Last Updated Jan 20, 2021 at 9:35 pm EDT

Ontario Premier Doug Ford looks on as a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is prepared by Pharmacy Technician Supervisor Tamara Booth Rumsey at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, January 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

With the province scrambling after getting news that Canada will not receive any new shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines next week, it appears Ontario’s premier is trying to take matters into his own hands.

Premier Doug Ford called the president of Pfizer Canada on Tuesday. A spokesperson for Ford confirmed he wanted to know why Canada’s vaccine delivery is lagging compared to other countries.

“He reiterated the serious impact these cancelled shipments will have on Ontario and sought answers as to why Canada isn’t receiving vaccines as quickly as other countries.”

On Tuesday, the federal government said it was expecting a 75 percent reduction in deliveries due to capacity upgrades at Pfizer’s European plant. Only 171,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive over the next two weeks, instead of the nearly 418,000 previously expected.

Ford said if he were in the Prime Minister’s shoes he would be putting pressure on the drugmaker by calling them everyday.

“I’d be up that guy’s yin-yang so far with a firecracker he wouldn’t know what hit him … I would not stop until we get these vaccines.”

As part of Pfizer’s delay, the provincial government says the company anticipates production will ramp up in February, leading to more doses being secured by the country.

John Tory spoke to Newstalk 1010 on Wednesday and said he also plans on calling Pfizer to inquire about the slowdown in delivery.

After only one day in operation, the City was forced to shut down its immunization clinic at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre citing a vaccine shortage.

The “proof-of-concept” clinic was initially scheduled to be open for at least six weeks, but on Monday, officials announced it would close at the end of the week. Then on Tuesday the province directed the clinic to pause operation immediately due to a vaccine shortage.

Ford says Ontario can’t afford to give out fewer vaccines than the province is able to administer, admitting they have met and even exceeded their targets of getting all long-term care homes vaccinated as of Jan. 21.

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