EDITORIAL: Trudeau's vaccine pledge over-hyped

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We now know the Trudeau government’s boast it had secured 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – more per capita than any other country – was less impressive than it was made to sound.

The government went with this strategy to have a wide range of vaccines available for Canadians no matter which ones were the first to gain approval by health authorities.

This in the context of a deal between the Trudeau government and a Chinese company to develop a vaccine together, falling apart in May.

The number of doses the Trudeaugovernment took out options to purchase – 398 million to be precise – sounds impressive, given that to vaccinate our entire population twice wouldrequire about 76 million doses, and not everyone will be vaccinated.

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But in the real world, Canada is already lagging behind many other countries in the percentage of its population that has been vaccinated – including the U.S. andU.K. – because of production and delivery issues.


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In addition, more than 70% of the 398 million vaccine doses Canada has options to purchase haven’t yet been approved.

Those are for 20 million doses from AstraZeneca, up to 38 million from Johnson & Johnson, up to 76 million each from Medicago and Novavax and up to 72 million from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.

Canada has options for up to 116 million doses of the two vaccines that have been approved (40 million from Moderna, up to 76 million from Pfizer), still well above the maximum 76 million required to meet Canada’s needs.

But production issues with the Pfizer vaccine appear to be playing havoc with the schedule by which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said every Canadian who wants a vaccine will get one by September, although the PM says that will still happen.

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There are also problems with distribution in the provinces.

For example, the Ontario government said Thursday it over-reported the number of people who had received the recommended two doses of the vaccine by 100%, because it mistakenly countedthe number of single doses administered as the number of people who had received both doses.

The bottom line here is that the longer injections take, the more Canadians will die.

Our governments, at all levels, need to up their game.

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