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HomeBusinessCOVID Exclusive: Dix ducked meeting with Pfizer Canada prez

COVID Exclusive: Dix ducked meeting with Pfizer Canada prez


Bob Mackin

British Columbia’s Minister of Health ignored invitations to meet with the Canadian head of the frontrunner in the coronavirus vaccine race. has obtained, under freedom of information, an urgently worded Nov. 27, 2020 letter from Cole Pinnow, president of Pfizer Canada, to Adrian Dix, trying for a third time to set-up a phone or web call.

Dix had just been reappointed Minister of Health after the NDP won a majority in a snap election that put the B.C. government into caretaker mode for more than two months. The politicking delayed planning for B.C.’s vaccine rollout.

Pfizer Canada president Cole Pinnow (Pfizer)

“On April 9 and July 23, I wrote to inform you of Pfizer’s progress to develop a medical solution against COVID-19 and extended an offer to virtually meet with you to discuss confidential details of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in order to assist British Columbia plan with their immunization strategy,” Pinnow wrote to Dix. “We are now in advanced discussions with the federal government and other provincial Ministers of Health (including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec) to help them establish readiness for administration of a vaccine, should it be approved by Health Canada.”

The federal government is responsible for approving and importing vaccines, but the provinces and territories are responsible for distributing and administering shots in their jurisdictions.

Pinnow further emphasized the need for a meeting, writing that awareness and knowledge of medical and logistical details of the vaccine candidates “are essential.” Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine came with complex handling and cold storage instructions.

The lobbyist registry refers to a Dec. 2, 2020 communication between Pfizer lobbyist Sandra Wong and Dix. But Wong’s email released to refers only to a bilateral meeting with B.C. immunization managers. Dix’s calendars through spring 2021 do not indicate any meeting with top Pfizer officials.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix (BC Gov)

Almost three weeks before Pinnow’s letter, Pfizer/BioNTech announced their vaccine candidate. Health Canada approved it for emergency use on Dec. 9. Six days later, Vancouver General Hospital care aide Nisha Yunus became the first British Columbian jabbed.

After Health Canada approval came last December, Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry named Dr. Ross Brown of Vancouver Coastal Health as the leader of B.C.’s mass-vaccination program. But, on Jan. 13, VCH chair Penny Ballem suddenly replaced Brown. revealed she was hired on a $220,000 contract through October.

Canada’s vaccine program was hampered by numerous delays and supply shortages that extended into the second quarter of 2021, during the third wave of the pandemic.

While the U.S. and U.K. governments worked with big pharma to develop vaccines domestically in spring 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to collaborate with a company related to China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Canada’s deal with CanSino collapsed shortly after its May 2020 announcement when top Chinese Communist Party officials blocked CanSino shipments to Canada. The Liberal government scrambled to buy imports from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, but has kept the costs and contracts secret. 

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HTH-2021-10358-Pfizer by Bob Mackin on Scribd