Provincial criticism of vaccine rollout is a bit simplistic, Canada remains “on track”


© THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette
A licensed technician pharmacist carefully fills the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at a vaccination clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says Canada is “on track” with the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine, adding that provinces claiming to be running out of doses are “a little simplistic”.

His comments come after Ontario Premier Doug Ford warned the province was “running out” of doses of COVID-19 vaccine, saying its supply of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines would run out by the end of the season. next week.

Read more: Doug Ford says Ontario will run out of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by end of next week

“If you knew you had 200,000 in a week, how sincere it is to say, ‘Oh my God, at the end of the week we run out of shots? Of course you don’t, because there will be more next week, and then the week after, there will be even more, ”said LeBlanc. West BlockMercedes Stephenson in an interview.

“So the word ‘exhausted’, I think, is a bit simplistic. Canada is aggressively and effectively receiving as many doses as possible.

Coronavirus: Ontario to run out of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by end of next week, Ford says

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LeBlanc added that Ottawa was “not really behind schedule,” stressing that Canada was not supposed to initially receive doses of the vaccine in December.

“We were able to get almost half a million doses of Pfizer in December. The Moderna doses also came sooner than we expected and the Premiers expected, ”said LeBlanc.

“So I’m very confident that over the next few weeks you’re going to see a very dramatic increase across the country in terms of provinces immunizing their citizens.

His claims, which pour a little water into Ford’s wine, are backed up by the numbers.

Coronavirus: vaccinations will ‘increase’ in February, says Trudeau

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Ontario is on track to receive 80,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week and will receive the same number of doses each week for the remainder of January. 56,000 additional doses of the Moderna vaccine will also arrive in the province on Monday, in addition to the 53,000 doses of Moderna jab which arrived at the end of December.

Read more: Canada’s vaccine target for September may depend on further approvals

LeBlanc said the government also hoped Pfizer and Moderna would deliver doses ahead of schedule, as was the case with the December arrivals.

“We hope that we will see, once again, anticipated doses or doses planned for March arrive in February, doses that could have arrived in February, arrive in January. So that’s obviously our hope, ”he said.

LeBlanc’s comments come after Trudeau previously expressed frustration at the pace of the vaccine rollout.

“All Canadians, myself included, are frustrated to see vaccines in freezers and not in people’s arms,” Trudeau said at a press conference Monday.

Coronavirus: Trudeau says he is “frustrated” by delay in vaccination and will work with provinces to increase vaccinations

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On Friday, however, Trudeau had changed his mind – declaring that the government is “ensuring better efficiency” by administering numerous vaccinations “every day”.

He explained that more than 124,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to 68 locations across Canada in the past week and that more than 208,000 are expected to be delivered across the country each week for the remainder of January.

Some provinces speed up coronavirus vaccine rollout

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As for Moderna’s jab, more than 171,000 doses will be delivered to provinces and territories by the end of next week, according to Trudeau. This puts Canada on track to deliver more than 1.3 million doses of both vaccines by the end of the month.

However, deliveries “will continue to fluctuate regularly,” warned General Dany Fortin, who heads the logistics of vaccine deployment in Canada on Friday.

“He needs experience and it is increasing every day,” he said. “I believe the provinces and territories will significantly increase their capacity to distribute vaccines over the coming months.

Coronavirus: September vaccine target hinges on more approvals, says Anand

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While Fortin has said supply by March is “limited and steady,” by April he expects a “significant increase” that will continue through the remainder of the second quarter of the year.

This is a message that LeBlanc echoed in his interview.

“We wanted a series of potential (vaccine) options to get as quickly as possible, as many doses as possible, into Canada and then, of course, send them directly to the provinces for administration,” said LeBlanc.

“This process is therefore well underway. And like I said, it will increase in some cases exponentially over the next few weeks and into the spring.

– With files from Rachael D’Amore


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