OTTAWA – The prime minister appears to be ruling out the idea of a national vaccination passport as provinces move to harsher restrictions to try and stamp out a rise in COVID-19 cases.
This comes as officials talk about a significant ramp-up of inoculations in the months ahead. There has been provincial talk of creating some sort of system to prove if someone has received their COVID-19 shot, as is the case in some European countries, where similar systems are being brought in.
However, in an interview with Reuters, Justin Trudeau confirmed he is not considering one for Canada.
“There are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated and I’m worried about creating knock-on, undesirable effects in our community,” he told the outlet.
“The indications that the vast majority of Canadians are looking to get vaccinated will get us to a good place without having to take more extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country,” Trudeau added.
Meanwhile, officials have confirmed that as of Friday the federal government will have distributed 929,000 vaccine doses. In the second quarter, deliveries are expected to ramp up significantly, to about a million doses each week.
Earlier this week, Canada secured another 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, bringing the country’s total to 80 million doses arriving this year from Pfizer and Moderna.
Trudeau said then, he expects every Canadian who wants the vaccine to be able to get it by Septmeber.
In the interview, Trudeau also mentioned he hopes to meet with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden as soon as possible after his inauguration. On his own political future, Trudeau said he hopes to serve as prime minister for many more years.