The office of Canada’s minister in charge of procuring its stockpile of the coronavirus vaccine said they won’t yet be sharing the prices they’re paying per dose after reports that the European Union’s vaccine price list was inadvertently leaked Friday.
According to the office of Procurement Minister Anita Anand, the federal government is going to be “cautious” in disclosing contractual information due to the market for coronavirus vaccines remaining “highly competitive.”
The statement comes amid complaints of a breach of confidentiality from drugmakers developing the vaccine after Belgian secretary of state for budget Eva De Bleeker tweeted a list of the country’s number of vaccines and the price they were paying per dose.
The tweet was later deleted, though several parties, including the drug developers themselves, were able to catch wind of De Bleeker’s blunder.
According to the published price list, the Belgian government paid €12, or US$14.7 per dose to purchase just over five million shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Prices subsequently ranged from the cheapest of €1.78 for AstraZeneca’s vaccine to Moderna’s which is the most expensive and priced at US$18.
When should world leaders get vaccinated?
According to Reuters and The Guardian, a Pfizer spokesperson told Belgian newspaper Le Soir that De Bleeker’s publication of the company’s vaccine price was a breach in confidentiality.
“These prices are covered by a confidentiality clause in the contract with the European Commission,” said Elisabeth Schraepen, a Pfizer spokesperson for the Benelux region of Belgium.
None of the drug companies listed in De Bleeker’s leak — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Curevac and Moderna — have responded to Global News’ request for comment.
The details of vaccine prices may allow countries that have not yet procured vaccines or are still negotiating with drugmakers to take a harder approach in securing their doses, however.
According to Anand’s office, there remains a “very competitive environment around the world, everywhere” for procuring the vaccine.
“Every country wants to have the same products, the same doses, and so we have to negotiate very hard for Canada to have more doses as soon as possible and that’s the job for me and my team every day,” read a statement from her office obtained by Global News Friday.
Though the federal government has not released any sort of individual pricing per dose for the vaccines it has secured to date, the country has already invested over $1 billion into procuring a supply of about 429 million doses spread across seven vaccine candidates.
The leak also comes on the heels of Canada receiving its first shipment of 30,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine earlier this week — which provincial health authorities have already begun to administer to priority groups across the country.
Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also confirmed that Canada was set to receive 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of January. In a separate press conference Friday, Anand also announced that four million doses of the same vaccine would arrive by the end of March — enough to vaccinate two million Canadians.
The first shipments of the Moderna vaccine are also expected to arrive by the end of December, though dependent on regulatory approval from Health Canada.
— With files from Reuters
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
WestJet Boeing 737 MAX flight grounded at Calgary airport after ‘potential fault’ warning – Global News
According to WestJet, Flight WS658 had passengers on board and was getting ready to take off, when it was “returned to the gate after push back.”
“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset,” WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart said in an emailed statement.
“This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board.”
1st Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada after grounding
Stewart said the flight was cancelled, and the 35 passengers were instead put on Flight WS662, boarding a planned Dreamliner flight “only because we didn’t want to keep them waiting.” The aircraft’s return flight, WS665 from Toronto to Calgary, was also cancelled.
The Boeing 737 MAX was cleared for flight shortly after the passengers got off, and is set to return to service on Sunday, Stewart said.
According to the Calgary airport’s website, WS658 was set to take off at 8 a.m. Stewart said all of the guests on the original flight have since landed in Toronto.
WestJet flew Canada’s first commercial flight on a 737 MAX in almost two years just one day prior, after the aircraft was taken out of Canadian skies following two deadly crashes.
Chris Bauenbusch, president of CUPE Local 4070 which represents WestJet’s flight attendants, was on the cancelled flight, working as a flight attendant, when the plane had to return to the gate.
He said in the airline industry, it’s “common to have the odd hiccup here and there.”
“Obviously there’s a heightened focus on a model of aircraft coming back into service, such as what’s happening with that aircraft,” he said. “But these are common things that happen on a daily basis.”
Bauenbusch said from a union perspective, they have no issues with their members flying on the aircraft.
“The union maintains… that this is a safe aircraft, through all the rigor that it’s been put through,” he said.
In a statement, Transport Canada said it was aware of the flight that “opted to return to the gate.”
“We understand the pilots made this decision due to a cockpit warning light that signaled before departure,” the agency said.
“This incident is not related to the previous grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
COVID-19 vaccine delay doesn't take away from Ont.'s failures: Doctor – CTV News
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- COVID-19 vaccine delay doesn’t take away from Ont.’s failures: Doctor CTV News
- Trudeau speaks to Pfizer CEO as delays to vaccine shipments get worse CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
- Allergic reactions to Moderna vaccine are rare, report says Global News
- Dr. Bonnie Henry: B.C. is maximizing the benefit of the limited COVID-19 vaccine supply Vancouver Sun
- We need a science-based plan for vaccine distribution | TheHill The Hill
- View Full coverage on Google News
WestJet halts Boeing 737 Max jet before takeoff after warning light in cockpit – CBC.ca
WestJet temporarily grounded a Boeing 737 Max jet that was supposed to fly from Calgary to Toronto on Friday after a warning light came on in the cockpit prior to takeoff.
Flight 658 was boarded and preparing to take off when a warning light came on.
“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset,” WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart told CBC News.
“This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board [so] in the interest of our guests’ time, we cancelled Flight 658 and its return 665 (Toronto/Calgary), and we rebooked them on the next available flight to ensure a timely arrival in Toronto.”
The airline says passengers were boarded onto a 787 jet and flew as planned within the hour.
Jet in question cleared to fly again
The jet in question has already been cleared and is on track for its next flight on Sunday.
The Calgary-based airline’s fleet of 13 Max jets were grounded for almost two years after more than 300 people died in two high profile crashes of the jets, operated by Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia’s Lion Air in 2018 and 2019.
WestJet grounded its fleet of Max jets like most airlines around the world did until earlier this month, when flight authorities cleared the jets for takeoff again.
The flight would have been the jet in question’s first flight since being approved for use again, and only the third Max flight at WestJet overall since reintroduction this week.
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