Sinthia Hoque:-In a statement made on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that his government is currently “standing by” to deploy the Canadian Red Cross, in order to help with vaccination efforts.
“On vaccination in particular, Ontario has reached out for more support”, Trudeau stated. “I can tell you today that we are standing by to deploy the Canadian Red Cross to help with their mobile vaccination teams”.
Trudeau says that doses need to reach people where situation is most serious.
In addition to this, Trudeau also mention during a news conference made on Friday afternoon, that Canada is expected to receive an additional 4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in May, as well as two additional million batches in June and in July.
Though Trudeau has not provided details as to how the new vaccines will be distributed, Canada is expected to receive 650, 000 doses of the Moderna vaccine rather than the initial more than the 1.2 million promised earlier.
A spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford has spoken out stating that while the government “appreciates the Prime Minister’s offer”, the main priority is to acquire more doses of vaccine.
“While we appreciate the Prime Minister’s offer, unless it is matched with an increase in supply, we do not need the Red Cross at this time for the administration of vaccines in Ontario. We do not have a capacity issue, we have a supply issue”, Ivana Yelich said.
Adding to this, Ontario’s Solicitor General’s Office has also mentioned that they have not made any “request of this nature” to the government.
With a specific request of “the assistance of 620 professionals to support Ontario hospitals”, Ford government has called out for help from all province’s and territories with healthcare resources.
Many GTA hospitals and clinics have had to pause vaccinations this week due to supply issues.
Canadian Red Cross is expected to deploy 27 long-term care homes as needed after the federal government had approved the request, as well as deploying mobile health units that set up hospital beds in Toronto and Hamilton.
According to the federal government’s status, Ontario has administered 3,644,038 COVID-19 vaccine doses, as of Friday.