On February 24th, Palki Sharma, on Gravitas WION, India’s first global news network, had a segment on “Pfizer’s Abusive Vaccine Deals.”
“Terror comes in many forms”, she begins, “sometimes it comes from those in the neighborhood; sometimes it’s from those online; sometimes it’s from those who you entrust with saving lives— vaccine makers, for example. While countries, like India, are sending free vaccines to poorer nations, there are companies like Pfizer which are bullying governments.”
The US company has overstepped their role in production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, making absurd demands of countries like Argentina and Brazil.
In July, during a meeting between CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, and Argentina President Alberto Fernández, Pfizer asked to be compensated for the cost of any future lawsuits. In other words, any civil lawsuit brought against Pfizer, if won, would be paid by the government of Argentina, exempting Pfizer from liability. In October 2020, Argentina initially agreed on the condition that Pfizer pays for its negligence. But when Pfizer wanted immunity from negligence, Argentina proposed Pfizer only take responsibility for vaccine delivery and distribution. Pfizer, again, refused.
Pfizer then asked Argentina to purchase “international insurance.” This would require Argentina to pay for future cases against the company. Argentina initially agreed. But this was not all. In December 2020, Pfizer demanded Argentina’s sovereign assets as collateral. In other words, Pfizer wanted Argentina to put its “bank reserves, its military bases, and its embassy buildings at stake as collateral.” Collateral against any cost of future lawsuits. Argentina did not accept.
For a pharmaceutical company, these are suspicious demands.
In the world’s third most affected country, Brazil, Pfizer asked them to create a “guarantee fund” to deposit money in a foreign bank account. On January 23, 2021 – Brazil’s Health Ministry put out a statement citing excerpts from Pfizer’s pre-contract clauses.
Here’s a list of Pfizer’s demands:
• Brazil waives the sovereignty of its assets abroad in favour of Pfizer,
• that the rules of the land – be not applied on Pfizer,
• that Brazil take into consideration a delay in delivery,
• that Pfizer is not penalised for a delayed delivery, and
• that in case of any side effects, Pfizer be exempted from all civil liability.
The government of Brazil calls these clauses “abusive.” The Pfizer deal with Brazil failed as well.
This year alone, Pfizer is on track to make an estimated $15 billion dollars from vaccine sales. It’s in talks with 100 countries. Apparently, this is not enough. Pfizer wants more. Military bases included.
Hypocritically, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla made this statement: “At Pfizer, we believe that every person deserves to be seen, heard, and cared for. That’s why from the very beginning of our vaccine development program, Pfizer and BioNTech have been firmly committed to working toward equitable and affordable access of Covid-19 vaccines for people around the world.”