It is hard to believe that the same year the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the WHO, is the same year that we worked alongside Pfizer Canada to support in the launch and Health Canada authorization of the first vaccine approved in the fight against the virus. It’s an optimistic milestone for all Canadians, and a proud moment for science and health communicators.
Over the past 10 months we have seen much heartbreak, but also the tremendous resolve of Canadians as people struggled to work and live through the pandemic. This is true for governments, and the health and pharmaceutical industry as well. From Health Canada’s ability to pivot and begin accepting a rolling submission from Pfizer and BioNTech, and other companies, to the speed at which distribution plans with the provinces were developed, it has become very clear that amazing things are possible when we all row in the same direction, toward the same goal.
NATIONAL worked alongside Pfizer’s Corporate Affairs team to develop a thorough and thoughtful media relations strategy that would balance the high volume of media requests but also allow for a range of interviews with senior company leaders. Each spokesperson was able to offer insights about the science of the vaccine, the process for approval and the distribution plans. Within hours of the announcement there were over one thousand pieces of coverage, including all top tier outlets.
Vaccination can be a contentious topic, but vaccines are truly one the greatest advances in public health in our lifetime. NATIONAL is proud to play a small role in this notable time in Canadian history. We look forward to building on our learnings and continuing to support clients in high stake situations in the coming year.