Canada's top public health officer, Dr Theresa Tam, said there has been a "troubling rise" in the number of people experiencing severe illnesses due to COVID-19.
"We are working with urgency in collaboration with stakeholders, including Health Canada and public health decision makers, to bring our vaccine candidate to Canada in a timely manner", Christina Antoniou said.
On Thursday, Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner slammed the government for its vaccine plan, saying more Canadians will die if Canada can't roll out vaccines as early as other countries like the U.S.
Dany Fortin, the current chief of staff to the Canadian Joint Operations Command and a former commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Iraq, will head up vaccine logistics and operations within a new branch of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). He said vaccines were also a hard area for pharmaceutical firms to invest in because they only got to sell a vaccine once, compared to prescription medication. The agency declined last week to predict how long its review would take, but both Pfizer and US Health Secretary Alex Azar have said the FDA could authorise the vaccine in mid-December.
The Canadian Armed Forces will assist with planning for the distribution of vaccines, and logistical challenges, such as cold storage, data-sharing, and reaching rural and Indigenous communities.
"If all goes well, most Canadians can be vaccinated by next September", said Trudeau, citing public health officials. "In the meantime, the government of Canada provinces and territories and other partners are working together to identify high priority groups who will benefit the most from these vaccines".
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All the tests were negative so now, if nothing changes, he's available, which is good. I don't want to speak too much about it". He can now train with us tomorrow.
COVID-19 has surged in recent weeks across Canada, with several regions putting stricter travel restrictions in place and closing non-essential businesses and services to try to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
If all goes well, and if USA pharmaceutical giants are able to meet delivery timelines, PHAC has said as many as six million doses could be deployed in the first three months of 2021. There are jurisdictions and countries around the world that have banked everything on one or maybe two different vaccines...
"All they were short of was a federal partner in funding", Moe said.
A firm date on vaccine delivery is among the details premiers are looking for the government to confirm. "We've been engaged, understanding that a vaccine was the way we were going to get through this pandemic", Trudeau said. These contracts served Canada well during H1N1 and were renewed for 10 years in March 2011, meaning they are still in effect.
Fortin's appointment comes amid more alarming daily COVID-19 case numbers from Ontario, which reported 1,855 new cases, and 20 more deaths.