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article imageCanada will lag behind U.S. and UK on COVID vaccine distribution

By Karen Graham     Nov 24, 2020 in Politics
Ottawa - Because the country has no domestic production of the COVID-19 vaccine, Canada will have to depend on other countries for a vaccine, meaning Canadians will likely receive doses weeks after some of our allies says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, among others, have already announced aggressive vaccine distribution plans, with shots expected to roll out as early as late December, according to City News. Canada is not expecting any doses until early next year.
“Yes, the very first vaccines that roll off an assembly line in a given country are likely to be given to citizens of that particular country. But shortly afterward, they will start honoring and delivering on the contracts that they signed with other countries, including with Canada,” he told reporters outside his Rideau Hall home in Ottawa, on Tuesday.
Canada has secured 358 million doses from seven companies, including Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, but none of them are made in Canada, something that Trudeau admitted would slow the initial vaccination roll-out.
“Countries like the United States, Germany, and the U.K. do have domestic pharmaceutical facilities, which is why they’re obviously going to prioritize helping their citizens first,” Trudeau said.
“We are working with a number of partners including the Canadian military that as soon as vaccines arrive and are deemed safe, they will be distributed to Canadians,” Trudeau said during the news conference.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at a press conference in Ottawa.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at a press conference in Ottawa.
Adam Scotti (PMO)
“We’re making sure we have the plan in place to move as quickly as possible, but it is premature to start circling dates on a calendar or saying this vaccine is going to arrive in this amount on this day in this community because there’s a lot of work to do between now and then. But we’re on it.”
CBC Canada explained in great detail how the U.S, UK, and Germany were planning on distributing and administering their vaccines, but note that in comparison, the Liberal government has said very little about their plans.
So far, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recently issued preliminary guidance on who should get priority for the vaccine, and just last week, Public Services and Procurement Minister, Anita Anand announced the government plans to purchase over 100 new freezers to help store incoming COVID-19 vaccines.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu was asked on Tuesday why Canada seemed to be so far behind in the race to distribute vaccines. Haidu said the "whole process is complicated and Health Canada hasn't yet approved a vaccine candidate."
"All of our departments are working right now, around the clock actually, on making sure we have a concrete plan with the provinces and territories, that we are ready to deploy the vaccines as soon as they arrive on Canadian soil," she said.
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