Irish boy who asks for a vaccine for Santa gets reply from Pfizer boss

By Jenny Gross, The New York Times

WHEN six-year-old Callum Thornhill heard that Pfizer had developed a coronavirus vaccine, he wrote to the company with an urgent request: to prioritize Santa Claus.

His mother, Paula Linehan, told the Irish Examiner that her son had heard about the vaccine on the car radio on the way to school in early November. When he got home from school that day, he wrote a letter to Pfizer congratulating the company.

“Dear Pfizer,” the letter began. “I heard you made a new vaccine for coronavirus. Good job.”

He continued: “Can you please send some to the North Pole for Santa and his elves? Please.”

Several weeks later, Callum received a response — from Pfizer’s chief executive, Albert Bourla, according to the Irish Examiner.

“Letters like these — from children brimming with compassion and hope — remind us of why the work we do every day is so important,” Mr. Bourla wrote on LinkedIn.

To Callum, he said: “I want you to know that we are doing everything we can to help bring hope to people around the world. And we will make sure to take care of Santa and his elves, too.”

The European Union approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday, and member states are expecting to receive their first batches next week. The vaccine rollout comes as European leaders are struggling to contain a deadly second wave of the virus by tightening lockdown measures, including over Christmas.

More than 50 governments, including Ireland, shut down travel from Britain after British authorities said a new, highly transmissible variant of the virus was spreading rapidly in London and southeastern England.
Top: Callum Thornhill from Glanmire, Co Cork. Photo: The Irish Times

TNR staff
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