The first batches of vaccine will be ready by January
The first batches of vaccine will be available to Canadians in January, according to plans by the federal government. The government also plans to have logistics and infrastructure in place before Christmas. This will be in order to administer the distribution as safely and as optimally as possible.
Dany Fortin stated at a media conference that Health Canada is looking to do a trial run next week. He confirmed: “We’re not going to wait until the end of December. We are getting ready so that when it becomes possible we are poised to distribute”. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the ones the government is looking to distribute after the holidays. It is important to underline how the government, however, intends to roll out the first shipments differently. That’s because the Pfizer vaccine requires specially designed temperature-controlled shipment and storage containers. On the other hand, Moderna will be first shipped to one location in Canada and only then redistributed across the communities.
Limited supply for first batches of vaccines
Fortin, moreover, said that every province has already identified the ‘points of use’ from where to distribute the vaccines. He also added the government is looking to make these locations ready for distribution by December 14. But just how many Canadians will the vaccines cover? Health Canada is currently reviewing 4 different vaccines, with Pfizer looked upon ‘favourably’ according to deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo. “We will immunize as many Canadians as possible, as quickly as possible and ensure that high-risk populations are prioritized”, he stated. Nonetheless, he noted that the since the initial supply can only cover 3 million Canadians, strategic planning will be pivotal. The National Advisory Committee is looking to release guidelines for the January vaccinations in the upcoming days.
Meanwhile, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam highlights the sense of achievement that this historic moment brings. Tam described the country’s vaccine effort as ‘one of the most consequential scientific endeavours in living memory’ and one of the ‘most complex operations ever taken in public health’.