Canada hopes to receive first doses of Covid vaccine in Jan

By Canadian Press	
	 		Bloc leader slams Trudeau over ‘unacceptable’ handling of COVID-19 vaccine orders

By Canadian Press Bloc leader slams Trudeau over ‘unacceptable’ handling of COVID-19 vaccine orders

That explanation did little to calm Conservative concerns in the House as Trudeau was pressed by the opposition for answers on when vaccines would arrive and the government's plan is for distributing them.

Doug Ford's Ontario government scored well but may see the esteem in which it is held slip in the wake of an Auditor General's report on Wednesday that said flaws in communications, decision-making and the management of positive cases contributed to the spread of the virus in the province. "We have very similar authorization pathways that are available for public health emergencies", she said.

"Our government has worked hard to secure tens of millions of doses, so we're prepared once a safe, effective vaccine is ready for Canadians", Trudeau said Tuesday. "This is going to be the largest logistical challenge that this country's overseen in a generation, getting these out".

Bernstein said Canada's vaccine production facilities have been on the decline for decades, as companies moved to other countries seeking higher prices.

"For two of the three vaccines that we now know about, the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines, those are mRNA vaccines, which there is no manufacturing for that in Canada", he said.

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The prime minister will be holding his regular phone call with premiers on Thursday, during which vaccination rollout will likely be a key topic.

"We have made investments to stand up more bio-manufacturing capacity in Canada after 10 long years of a Conservative government that saw most of our vaccine manufacturers cut production". O'Toole said 2.5 billion people are ahead of Canadians in the line-up for vaccines, although it's not clear how he came to that conclusion.

The approvals he is referencing are Health Canada approvals, which will be required before vaccine doses are doled out.

"The way that the reviews are progressing is that we're expecting to make a final decision on the vaccines around the same time as the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the European Medicines Agency". Pfizer is set to ship more than six million doses as soon as that happens. "We're looking forward to being able to vaccinate Canadians in the coming months".

Officials said Canada has a "pre-positioning mechanism" in place that would allow the country to import vaccine doses even before they're approved by Health Canada, to be stored in a central location pending authorization. The first four million are supposed to arrive between January and March.

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"I'm confident that we're going to be able to access the necessary vaccines for Canadians across worldwide borders", he said. The U.K. did not place an order until earlier this month.

However, the Trudeau government has not negotiated a licensing deal to make any vaccine here.

Dr. Supriya Sharma says Canada is on track to authorize a vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech around the same time as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is set to meet December 10 to discuss whether to approve the vaccine.

"We will only authorize a vaccine if its benefits outweigh its risks", said Sharma.

There are three leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates that have shown strong results in clinical trials and are now working through the Health Canada approval process. None of the vaccines have completed clinical trials yet and Health Canada would still need to approve all of them once they do.

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