Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sought to reassure Canadians that vaccine deliveries will rebound again within a few weeks and that the overall goal of getting every willing Canadian to be vaccinated by September will remain on the right track.
But it is Ontario Premier Doug Ford who has openly voiced the frustration of many county leaders as Pfizer continues to cut the vaccine delivery schedule to Canada.
“We have to be on these guys like a blanket, I’ll be outside that guy’s house. Every time he moves, I say, ‘Where are our vaccinations? “Other people get them, the European Union gets them, why not Canada?” Ford said at a press conference. This is my question to Pfizer, we need your support. “
Canada’s supply of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine comes from European allocation and not from nearby manufacturing facilities in the United States, as the Trump administration has made clear that the vaccines will not be exported.
“There’s a factory, the Pfizer plant, six hours in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with the Americans,” Ford said. “My American friends are helping us. We need help again as we did with PPE. You have a new president, no more excuses. We need your support. We are looking forward to your support and this is a direct message to President (Joe) Biden, help your neighbor.”
Ford appealed directly to Biden to get one million vaccines for Canada.
The incoming Biden administration is unlikely to release doses of the vaccine for export in the short term as transition officials have stated that they are unsure of the current supply of vaccines available in the United States.
Canadian government officials said Tuesday that a shortage of deliveries from Pfizer will lead to a “significant drop” in vaccinations in the coming weeks.
“There will be a significant impact in all provinces,” said Major General Danny Fortin, the Canadian commander in charge of launching the vaccine, adding that “the overall impact over the next month will be in the range of a 50% reduction in the expected allocation.”
The curve of the epidemic in Canada is starting to show signs of a downward slope after weeks of lockdown. But hospital admissions remain high, and officials say the total death toll during this second wave may ultimately be more dangerous than the first.
“We are all contributing to easing the burden on the health system, and supporting our healthcare workforce with the challenging task of comprehensively planning and implementing vaccines and giving vaccines a longer runway to start work as outreach expands to reach all Canadians,” said Dr. Teresa Tam, Chief Health Officer Public in Canada.
On average, Tam said, about 140 virus-related deaths are reported in Canada every day.