Everyone who wants a vaccine will get one by end of September, Trudeau says

By: Levon Sevunts
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday reiterated his pledge that every Canadian who wants to get a COVID-19 vaccine will get one by the end September, just as a new poll shows growing dissatisfaction with his government’s handling of the vaccine rollout.
Speaking at his regular COVID-19 briefing in Ottawa, Trudeau said he has been assured by Pfizer that the pharmaceutical giant will fulfil its promise to deliver four million doses of its Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of March.
Furthermore, Pfizer will accelerate the delivery of its vaccine to Canada and ship a further 10.8 million doses ahead of schedule between April and June, and all of the remaining doses of Canada’s 40-million total order by the end of September, Trudeau said.
“That is part of the reason why we can say with such confidence that everyone who wants a vaccine in Canada, will get one by the end of September,” Trudeau said. “We’ve been continuing to work every single day on getting as many doses as possible as quickly as possible into Canadians’ arms.”
In addition, the federal government has purchased four million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine which will be arriving over the summer, Trudeau added.
In all, Canada will get 84 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines by the end of September, the prime minister said.
Trudeau also announced that new quarantine measures forcing air travellers to stay at their own expense at government-approved hotels for mandatory quarantine after arriving in Canada will come into effect on Feb. 22.
Last month, the government signalled air travellers returning from non-essential trips abroad will have to isolate in a federally mandated facility for up to 72 hours while they await the results of a polymerase chain reaction test, commonly known as a PCR test. Trudeau has estimated the potential cost of the three-day quarantine hotel stay at $2,000.
In addition, non-essential travelers arriving in Canada through its land border with the U.S. will also require to show a negative PCR test administerd within 72 hours of arriving at the border, Trudeau said.
“These border measures will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and new variants,” he said.

Growing dissatisfaction: poll

Trudeau’s announcement on the vaccines and the new quarantine measures come as nearly six-in-ten Canadians (57 per cent) say the Liberal government has done a poor job of securing COVID-19 vaccine doses for the population, according to the latest poll by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute.
Even more worrying for Trudeau, the number of people who are dissatisfied by his government’s handling of the vaccine rollout has nearly tripled since early December when it stood at 23 per cent.
And just over a quarter of Canadians believe the prime minister’s promise that anyone who wants a vaccine will get one by September.
The Trudeau government has been under fire for the slow rollout of vaccines even though Canada has theoretically secured more vaccines per capita than any other country in the world and was one of the first countries to give regulatory approval to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
But Canada’s vaccination rollout hit a snag in mid-January when Pfizer-BioNTech announced it would cut deliveries to Canada by two-thirds between Jan. 18 and Feb. 14 while it was upgrading its production capabilities at its plant in Belgium. Then Moderna announced that it was forced to reduce last week’s shipment by 20 per cent because of production problems at its European facilities.
No other vaccine has been approved in Canada yet.
Health Canada is reviewing two separate applications for approval of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University researchers, including a joint pitch from the Serum Institute of India (SII), a private enterprise in Pune in western India.
Canada has administered just over 1.4 million vaccine shots or about 3.1 doses per 100 people since the first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and then Moderna vaccines were delivered in mid-December.
In the meantime, as of Feb. 11, the U.K. had administered 20 doses per 100 people, while the U.S. rate was approximately 13 doses per 100. Canada compares more favourably with France (3.5 doses per 100) and the Netherlands (2.7) on this scale.
When shown Canada’s progress in vaccinating its population compared to the U.S., U.K., France and Netherlands, 59 per cent of Angus Reid poll respondents said that Canada should be performing better than or at least as well as other nations in the amount of vaccines it has administered. The rest were more sympathetic to the plight of Canadian officials in charge of procurement and were of the view that recent setbacks have been out of anyone’s control, the poll shows.