Global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the company behind the COVID-19 vaccine being used in New Zealand, is shutting down Sir John Key after he suggested the Government could have paid more to have earlier access to jabs.
Pfizer has since said it hasn’t done that for any Government in the world.
It comes after former Prime Minister Sir John wrote a column published on Sunday describing New Zealand as a “smug hermit kingdom” because of the Government’s COVID-19 response.
In follow-up interviews on Monday, Sir John doubled down on his criticism – saying New Zealanders needed a plan for beyond COVID-19.
Sir John on The AM Show claimed a Government failure to buy COVID-19 vaccines when they were offered was behind New Zealand’s continued lockdowns.
“The reason we locked down hard was that we failed to buy the vaccines when we were offered them, by the way, for $40 million more… but the lockdown’s been costing us $1 billion, sometimes more than that a week,” he told host Ryan Bridge.
“I know for a fact – over time when interest rates go up, the future Ministers of Finance will one day get up and say to the New Zealand people – ‘by the way, that latest drug, those more police, those various different things you want, we can’t afford those.'”
In response, Pfizer said the idea of any Government paying extra for early vaccine dose delivery was “incorrect and baseless”.
“Pfizer is committed to equitable access that will give all people access to a vaccine,” said a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical giant. “Pfizer entered into an initial agreement with the Government to supply 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 22 2020 and entered into an additional agreement for 8.5 million on March 5, 2021.”
The spokesperson said Pfizer’s discussions with the New Zealand Government were confidential but noted each agreement was based on dose availability at the time.
One of the favorite lies of the Right is that Jacinda’s slow vaccine roll out made us vulnerable to Covid when the truth was that we were limited to supply side issues beyond our control. The truth is we couldn’t have gotten the vaccine earlier.
The Right have pushed on this lie with Key going as far as claiming we could have spent more to get it faster.
Pfizer have seen those lies and have gone as far as publicly attacking Key for spreading them.
If the Right are so confident we on the Left are so wrong about putting public health before them making money, why does Key have to lie?
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