Federal officials today explained how they plan to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks as Ottawa kicks off its mass vaccination campaign.
The initial supply will be limited – only three million Canadians are expected to be vaccinated in the first three months of 2021. Millions more will come when the supply chain stabilizes.
One of the main challenges facing the vaccination effort is that vaccines must be kept at a very low temperature – much lower than what a standard commercial refrigerator can provide.
Major General Dany Fortin, a former NATO commander in Iraq, is leading the logistics operations for vaccinations at a new national operations center under the Public Health Agency of Canada.
While the country is facing “unprecedented logistical complications”, the military and its partners will be ready to roll out vaccines as soon as they are approved in Canada, he said. A nationwide vaccine delivery is scheduled for pre-drills next week.
Fortin said Pfizer products will be delivered directly by the company to distribution points in the province and territory as early as the end of the month.
An anonymous senior official told CBC News that Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Quebec will have two such distribution sites in each province, while the others will have one. The official said the plans for the territories are still being finalized.
The injections are likely to be distributed on a per capita basis, the same official said, in the same way, the federal government procures personal protective equipment that has been issued to those jurisdictions. Some observers have said that jurisdictions with a higher number of cases should be given priority access to vaccination shots first.
Ultimately, there will be 205 locations nationwide where healthcare professionals can vaccinate, Fortin said. The designation of where and when people will be vaccinated depends on the provinces and territories.
Fortin said he is actively planning for many worst cases, such as bad weather, cyber-attacks and fire at distribution centers. Information technology company IBM said in a blog post published Thursday that it had discovered a “phishing global campaign” targeted at the COVID-19 vaccine delivery mission. USA.
Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief health advisor at Health Canada, said on Thursday that Pfizer’s vaccine review is “going very well” and that her department has “a lot of information” from the company to certifiable that vaccines are safe and effective. Final approval could be given in the next 7 to 10 days, she said.
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