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Trudeau optimistic Canada can accelerate COVID-19 vaccine timeline

FILE - This undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP, File)
Summary

With approval of yet another shot, prime minister says Canada's vaccine timelines could be sped up

Canada received first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines Wednesday after drug was approved on Friday

'We will continue to work every single day to bring in more doses for more Canadians,' says Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – There is hope that Canada could speed up its vaccination efforts.

For the first time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is talking about accelerating our goal for vaccinating the public against COVID-19. However, he did not make any promises, with his government still setting the end of September as its target.

“Very optimistic that they’re going to be moved forward if, indeed, all the vaccines that we’ve contracted for are able to be manufactured and shipped in the right ways,” he said Wednesday.

The federal government has long said that by the end of September, there will be enough does for every Canadian who wants a shot to get one. With the first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines arriving on Wednesday and approval of the Johnson & Johnson shot expected soon, Trudeau is optimistic they can move up the timeline.

“We will continue to work every single day to bring in more doses for more Canadians,” the prime minister said at a briefing Wednesday.

His comments come after U.S. President Joe Biden announced his country will have enough vaccines for every adult by May — speeding up America’s timeline by about two months.

They also came after Canada received more than 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine early Wednesday morning.

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The country currently has three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use — the ones made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. A decision on Johnson & Johnson’s drug is expected any day.

As some provinces move toward extending the interval between first and second doses of the vaccines, it’s expected more Canadians will receive shots sooner than expected.

B.C.’s top doctor announced on Monday that it would be waiting four months before giving a person the second dose of a vaccine.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is expected to issue a statement on the matter, which is reportedly in line with B.C.’s decision.