VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — NDP Leader John Horgan says if his party wins the election, no one in B.C. will have to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
He made the promise at a virtual town hall Monday.
“Our commitment today and going forward is to ensure that when there is a vaccine for COVID-19 it will be free of charge to anyone in British Columbia who wants it. That’s how you protect people, you focus on not padding the pockets of the wealthy but making sure that people have the services they need, he said.
“Coming out of a pandemic, if we’re going to get back to where we want to be we need to make sure that we can do that in a way that’s cost-effective. Free vaccines for all those who need them is a key step in that direction.”
Horgan and former Health Minister Adrian Dix both touted the relative success British Columbia has had containing the spread of COVID-19, and navigating the economic fallout.
“If we’re successful on the 24th of October, we’re going to continue to keep people safe, focus on keeping costs down, creating an economy that works for everyone.”
Before calling the election, the NDP also announced a $1.6-billion pandemic preparedness plan that included 2 million doses of the flu vaccine.
On Friday, Health Canada announced it received its first application for approval for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The application was submitted by AstraZeneca, which is developing a vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford. Health Canada officials say they will now be doing a rolling review of the testing data to make sure it meets the rigorous standards for approval.
With files from Hana Mae Nassar