War-hardened general to lead Canada's Covid-19 vaccination effort

Most Canadians could get COVID-19 vaccine by Sept if all goes well PM Trudeau

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He also named the Canadian army's Major-General Dany Fortin, who previously led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Iraq, to head a national operations centre that will coordinate the country's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

Trudeau has said Canada has contracts with all three manufacturers for doses.

Beyond his extensive overseas service, Fortin also was involved in planning the CAF missions in pandemic-hit long-term care homes over the summer. Vera Etches said Ottawa Public Health will be working with the Federal government, the Ontario government and the City of Ottawa's COVID-19 task force on rolling out the vaccine.

Singh blamed both Trudeau and the Conservatives for Canada being unable to produce their own vaccines, saying that the PM ultimately "chose to side w/ Big Pharma".

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"We used to have it decades ago, but we no longer have it", he said, while "countries like the United States, Germany and the UK do have domestic pharmaceutical facilities, which is why they're obviously going to prioritise helping their citizens first".

"This will be a major effort", he said. -Gen. Dany Fortin will lead the nation's vaccine distribution efforts, overseeing logistics that include cold storage requirements, data sharing, and reaching Indigenous communities.

"We are expecting to make a final decision on the vaccines around the same time", Dr. Supriya Sharma told reporters Thursday, during the first of what will be weekly public briefings on the status of procurement and rollout plans.

Asked whether any Canadians could receive a shot before the end of the year, Sharma said several things are happening at the same time - regulatory reviews, manufacturing, distribution - which makes it hard to pinpoint dates. But if the Brits and Americans do, then surely we could get a general estimate. "We're on this and we're delivering".

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"The fact that the doctors highlighted that if all goes according to plan, we should be able to have the majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September, puts us in very good stead", he said, offering the government's most specific timeline yet.

Health Canada is expected to give approvals to the Pfizer product at roughly the same time the United States does. We have two vaccines which are very promising but they're still in the process of going through the regulatory process.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo said early vaccine supplies will be limited, but he is hoping that every Canadian has access to one by the end of 2021.

The first deliveries are slated to arrive in early January, and by the end of March, around three million Canadians will be vaccinated.

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