Today, the Public Health Agency of Canada gave an update on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. It was stressed that it will work to immunize as many Canadians as possible as quickly as possible, and that Canada is well positioned to provide safe and effective vaccines to all Canadians in 2021.
Track One Vaccines
Track one vaccines are expected to be earliest. Canada will have about 3 million doses in early 2021, and high-priority groups will be vaccinated first.
Typically, vaccines go from the manufacturer to provinces and territories. However, some of the COVID-19 vaccines, such as the ones from Pfizer, will require a novel approach due to their nature.
The Pfizer vaccines that need to be kept at ultra-low temperatures (ULT) will go from the manufacturer straight to where the vaccine is given, controlled by assets from the manufacturer.
Other vaccines, such as the Moderna one that needs to be kept at -20°C, will go from the manufacturer to the point of delivery provided by provinces and territories. Ultimately, each provincial and territorial government is responsible for how to get vaccines, with the exception of ULT vaccines.
Major General Dany Fortin of the Canadian Armed Forces was present, explaining the measures they are taking to ensure that Canada has a timely and fair rollout.
Freezers for ULT vaccines have been purchased, delivery timelines are being tracked and delivered to provinces and territories as they come in. Dry ice contracts have also been put in place, and kits are being assembled and put in key transfer points working with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners.
Tests and drills are also being done by the military to ensure proper delivery and administration.
Track Two Vaccines
Dr. Njoo of PHAC said they will have another announcement next week regarding track two vaccines.
Premier Doug Ford held his daily media availability to respond to the federal announcements regarding the vaccine rollout.
He said that there is a lot of work left to do. He stressed that we need to know, in no uncertain terms, which vaccines we will get, how many and when they will arrive in Ontario.
Premier Ford acknowledged that it will be complicated due to the size of Ontario and the complexities that brings. However, the Ontario government will be announcing its COVID-19 Task Force tomorrow.