The Herald reports:
Drug company Pfizer pressed New Zealand government officials to meet and discuss its vaccine candidate in June of last year, some six weeks before a first meeting actually took place.
In a letter from Pfizer to Dr Peter Crabtree of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, the company described “actively scaling up our manufacturing capacity and distribution infrastructure”.
“We have the potential to supply millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020, subject to technical success and regulatory approvals, then rapidly scale up to produce hundreds of millions of doses in 2021,” the letter, dated June 30 said.
However, in June MBIE was ill-equipped to pursue negotiations with vaccine-makers. It wasn’t until August 10 that the Cabinet appropriated any funds to either establish a team to negotiate advance purchase contracts with vaccine-makers or to fund such contracts themselves. MBIE confirmed that a first meeting between officials and Pfizer took place on August 14, 2020.
Incredible. You’re in the middle of a deadly global pandemic and the world’s largest drug company comes to you saying they’d like to meet as they are well advanced on a vaccine.
And instead of responding within six hours or even six days, they didn’t even respond for six whole weeks!!!