The federal government expects to receive hundreds of thousands of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine before the end of this year, multiple government sources confirm to CBC News.
The prime minister will announce at 11:30 a.m. ET that Pfizer will deliver its first shipment of the doses shortly after it gets approval from federal regulators. Regulators are expected to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use in a matter of days.
The news was first reported by La Presse.
The early delivery time will allow provinces to start vaccinating vulnerable Canadians and health-care workers before the end of 2020.
Trudeau is scheduled to hold a news conference along with Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand, who has been leading the government’s efforts to secure vaccines and personal protective equipment.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo and Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who are in charge of the vaccine rollout plan, will also be in attendance. CBC News will have special live coverage of the event hosted by Rosemary Barton, and CBCNews.ca will carry it live.
During a news conference earlier Monday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole accused the government of undermining confidence in COVID-19 vaccines by failing to provide Canadians details on the process.
“Information in a pandemic is a critical tool, and the secrecy of the Trudeau government is leading to more uncertainty, more confusion and a lack of confidence at a time where we’re seeing Christmas celebrations cancelled,” he said.
Later today, MPs will vote on a Conservative motion that calls on the government to lay out a detailed vaccine rollout plan.
Vote today on vaccine plan motion
The motion calls for a status update on:
- How each type of vaccine will be safely delivered, stored and distributed to Canadians.
- The date on which each vaccine type will be first deployed in Canada and the rate of vaccinations anticipated by month.
- Any planned federal guidance with respect to the deployment of the vaccine by priority group, such as front-line health workers and seniors.
- The plan to distribute the vaccine to Indigenous communities, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans.
Today’s news conference also comes ahead of a first ministers’ meeting on Thursday, when Trudeau will speak with the premiers on issues such as vaccine rollout and federal health transfers. The premiers are pushing for a $28-billion annual boost in health funding.
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