Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to reassure Canadians that vaccine shipments would pick up again in a few weeks and that the overall goal of getting any willing Canadian vaccinated by September would stay on track.
But it was Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford who bluntly expressed the frustration of many provincial leaders when Pfizer further cut its schedule for delivering vaccines to Canada.
“We have to be like a blanket on this guy’s, I’d be in front of this guy’s house. Every time he moved I’d say, ‘Where are our vaccines?’ Other people are getting them, the European Union is getting them, why not Canada? That’s my question to Pfizer, we need your support, “Ford said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Canada’s Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine supplies are coming from the European contingent rather than nearby manufacturing facilities in the US, as the Trump administration made it clear that vaccines would not be exported.
“There’s a plant, a Pfizer plant, six hours in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with the Americans,” said Ford. “My American friends are helping us, we need help again, like we did with PSA. They have a new president, no excuses more, we need your support and we look forward to your support and that is a direct message to President (Joe) Biden, ‘help your neighbor.’ ”
Ford asked President-elect Joe Biden directly for a million vaccines for Canada.
The incoming Biden government is unlikely to release doses of vaccine for export in the short term, as Biden transition officials have indicated they are unsure of the current supply of vaccines in the US.
Canadian government officials made it clear Tuesday that the lack of supplies from Pfizer would result in a “significant reduction” in vaccinations in the coming weeks.
“There will be a significant impact across all provinces,” said Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin, the Canadian commander in charge of launching the vaccine, adding, “the overall impact over the next month is in the range of a 50% reduced decrease in allocation. “
The pandemic curve in Canada is showing signs of a downward turn after weeks of lockdowns. But hospital stays remain high, and officials say the death toll during this second wave could ultimately be worse than the first.
“We are all helping to ease the burden on the health system, assisting our healthcare workers in the difficult task of planning and executing mass vaccine rollouts, and giving vaccines a longer runway to get to work when the.” Access will be expanded to reach all Canadians. ” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, during a news conference Tuesday.
Tam added that an average of 140 virus-related deaths are reported in Canada each day.