EDITORIAL: Trudeau spinning us on vaccines

Article content

Despite an announcement Tuesday about his long-term plans to produce COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ended up in the same place he was at the start.

We still have to rely on vaccine manufacturers in other countries to fulfill Trudeau’s promise that three million Canadians will be vaccinated by the end of March and that every Canadian who wants a vaccine will get one by the end of September.

Trudeau insisted Canada will still hit those targets, despite ongoing production slowdowns and delayed delivery dates for the only two vaccines approved for use in Canada to date — Pfizer’s and Moderna’s — both being produced in Europe.

As a result, Canada, with only 2.6% of its population having been vaccinated to date, is falling behind many other comparable countries, including the U.K. (14.4%) and U.S. (9.6%).

Trudeau announced Tuesday his government has reached a memorandum of understanding with Novavax to produce two million COVID-19 vaccines a month at a new production facility in Montreal.


Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
Try refreshing your browser.

While he said the plant should be completed by July, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne later said given the steps required before the plant becomes operational, it will be “at the end of the year” at the earliest before large-scale vaccine production begins.

This is all contributing to a total price tag of more than a billion dollars the government has already spent signing deals with seven vaccine manufacturers, including Novavax, for up to 398 million doses of vaccines.

So far, only Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines have been approved in Canada and both have reduced shipments here because of production issues.

We agree with Trudeau’s long-term plan to set up an enhanced domestic vaccine manufacturing industry, including new facilities in Vancouver and Saskatchewan.

But we also believe he’s bungled the file, starting with a bizarre vaccine deal between his government and a Chinese company.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
Try refreshing your browser.

That was in trouble soon after it was announced in May, but the government didn’t publicly scrap it until August.

Meanwhile, it made deals with seven drug companies to supply vaccines, boasting it had “secured” more doses per capita than any other country.

But all having “secured” doses means is that we have an option to buy them, subject to availability.

News Near Sudbury

This Week in Flyers