PM Trudeau is doubling down on the promise of vaccines by fall for all Canadians. Is that a realistic target yet? By that moment, more than 35 million Canadians will have received shots, a target set by the Liberal government. The European Union has threatened to impose vaccine export controls, leaving the 27-member bloc to ensure the continent’s supply of vaccines.
The government is “very confident” that it will meet its target of vaccinating every Canadian who wants to be inoculated at the end of September, Trudeau said Tuesday.
But, experts say, logistical difficulties lie ahead, including getting vaccines out of storage and into the arms of those who want them. Only two vaccines for use in Canada are currently approved. Canada anticipated that next week it would deliver 366,000 doses of the Pfizer product. As the company retools its Belgium plant, only 79,000 are now slated to arrive. Still, combined with the potential for new vaccines to become available, the temporary nature of the plant closure is a cause for optimism, experts say.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is already in use in the United Kingdom, could be approved in the near future in Canada. It’s not impossible, says Lorian Hardcastle, associate professor of health law and policy at the University of Calgary, that we could run into stumbling blocks that would set us back.