Federal update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution – December 4, 2020
On Parliament Hill, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, join ministers Jean-Yves Duclos (Treasury Board president), Patty Hajdu (health) and Anita Anand (public services and procurement) for an update on the federal response to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Dr. Tam discusses the recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the prioritization of initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The committee recommends that the first 6 million doses to arrive in Canada during the first quarter of 2021 should be dedicated to the residents and staff of seniors’ homes, adults over 70 (starting with those over 80), health-care workers, and adults in Indigenous communities where infection can have disproportionate consequences. Minister Anand announces that the federal government has signed contracts with FedEx Express Canada and Innomar Strategies for the distribution of vaccines across the country with the exception of the Pfizer vaccines, which need to be maintained at extreme cold temperatures. The government has also updated its deal with Moderna in order to secure the purchase of an additional 20 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.