The federal government has started sourcing supplies that will be essential for “mass immunizations” in case a vaccine is found for COVID-19, starting with the signing of a contract for 37 million syringes.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first announced that the government was adding syringes to the list of essential supplies of COVID-19 that are purchased, and later Minister of Supply Anita Anand said the contract had been signed with the company Canadian Becton Dickinson Canada to provide the essentials. vaccine delivery tool.
“We are also continuing to work to obtain the other supplies necessary for possible mass vaccinations at the system level. We are making sure that when a viable vaccine is discovered, Canada will be ready for administration, “said Anand.
Anand did not offer a timetable on when the syringes will be delivered, noting that the need at the moment is not as pressing.
“We have to plan ahead for this possibility,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer, adding that work is also underway on how the administration of a possible vaccine would be a priority. for certain segments of the population.
“We represent the maximum number of Canadians who may wish to be vaccinated,” said Tam.
In mid-May, Health Canada announced that it had given the green light for a clinical trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine in this country, and Canada is also participating in ongoing trials around the world.
It may take a while before any treatment is deemed safe and stable enough for mass immunization, although the federal government funds research and development for various options. This is done to compensate for what Trudeau has pointed out as an area where there will likely also be a struggle between supply and demand.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Abdu Sharkawy told CTV News Channel that, although it is not as urgent as it needs to be, “If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it is that the preparation is much better than reactionary responses to a given situation. ”
“But if we want to go further, there is certainly nothing wrong,” he said.
FIRST-LINE SUPPLY CHALLENGES CONTINUE
In his remarks to Rideau Cottage on the federal response efforts of COVID-19, Trudeau provided an update on the efforts underway to procure personal protective equipment.
Throughout the pandemic, Canada’s efforts to procure essential supplies were difficult, as the national tracker of Public Services and Procurement Canada continued to show that only a fraction of what was ordered actually arrived.
Trudeau noted that Canada has received more than 100 million surgical masks, although that is only a third of what the government has ordered. He also noted that nearly 40 million gloves had been purchased, but that the government had ordered more than a billion.
In the past two months, the federal government has provided progressive updates on current supplies and the signing of contracts with Canadian manufacturers who have reorganized to mass produce vital medical supplies.
The Prime Minister said Tuesday that the federal government is also funding a handful of Canadian companies that are currently working on potential “breakthrough solutions” for rapid COVID-19 testing.
“Working with suppliers around the world is essential to keeping Canadians safe, but at the end of the day, one of the best ways to make sure we have what we need is to do it right here at home.” us, “said Trudeau. , noting that the demand for protective gear will only increase as more businesses and sectors reopen.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were more than 92,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Canada, although just over a third of these cases are active. More than 7,300 people in Canada have died from the virus.