Ottawa – After a week of confusion about how many doses of vaccines each county and territory will receive and when, the federal minister in charge of procurement said it was critical that the federal government and provinces be on the same page in order to have “efficient distribution throughout this country.”
In an interview about CTV’s question period, Public Services and Procurement Secretary Anita Anand said that despite the fluctuations seen throughout the week – with counties like Ontario and Alberta demanding a specific number of early vaccine doses and the government refusing to confirm those numbers – in the end, What matters is that there is a coherent plan for all levels of government side by side.
While Anand has shifted the uncertainty to the provinces into an “extrapolation” from initial discussions about the startup, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed to Representatives of Parliament Friday that the country is on track to receive 6 million initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines through 31 March, but use depends on agreeing to regular
In a separate interview on this week’s episode, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told host Evan Solomon that he appreciates the desire to communicate as much of the plan as possible to the provinces and Canadians, but all the different models depend on assumptions and speculations and they can not be carved into stone until some are resolved. Outstanding questions.
He said, “This is the reason why these numbers, frankly … are not reliable yet, but they will be, as we approach the point, and we hope that this point will come soon.”
Among the variables that remain: approval by the Canadian Ministry of Health, official recommendations on setting priorities, and what conditions are necessary to keep the vaccine or approved vaccines active while they are shipped across the country.
“Scientists and doctors are looking in provinces and territories and with the Canadian government for the most coherent and effective way to vaccinate this population… So of course, we don’t expect until we get the final advice from the experts as to how to do it right,” LeBlanc said.
He said: “All these measures will take effect, and all these measures will be in effect when we receive these vaccines.”
Questions about when and how many doses will be shipped to each county, and how they will get there, remain a major concern for Anand. This week, the federal government took its logistical and distribution plans a step forward and purchased 126 freezers that can store vaccines at extremely low temperatures.
The government has also begun to consider contracts to order large quantities of dry ice for use in the delivery process.
“It is imperative that the Government of Canada work with the provinces and territories to obtain this chain of distribution [be] effective. Ultimately, the provinces and territories have health authorities that will be able to properly put those vaccines into the arms of Canadians, but the government of Canada has bought the vaccines and the government of Canada will be in position with those health authorities to ensure that for example the cold chain needed to be delivered to the provinces and territories in a way that can Promptly introduce it to residents in those jurisdictions, “Plank told me.
Manitoba’s Prime Minister, Brian Ballester, said he broadly agreed that a clear nationwide plan would be important, and was “urging” more information to be released in the process.
“Having a national program so that we do not have a large number of different distribution systems and availability priorities in different jurisdictions is a smart thing to do,” he said. “We can all agree that the most vulnerable people we have are the elderly in care homes, and that our frontline workers are the people we want to be able to get vaccinated quickly so we can keep our healthcare system going and protect people’s lives. The most vulnerable are our citizens.But then, who will get it first? I think it would be better for us to have a national program that we can all understand, accept, and then wait in an orderly manner until it is our turn to get the vaccine instead of seeing collective confusion and additional stress at a time. Everyone of us has been incredibly tense because of this unprecedented situation we face together. “