The biggest general at the helm of vaccine introduction aims to immunize the majority by September: PM

Canada used former NATO Commander Major General. Dany Fortin will lead national efforts to distribute vaccines as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his goal to immunize more than half of all Canadians by September 2021.

“Canadians can expect that if all goes well, that more than half of us will be vaccinated by next September,” the prime minister said, adding that the “significant positive news” came directly from Canadian federal health experts.

“I can understand the eagerness that people want to know, ‘When will it end?’ When do we get the vaccines? “We can say that we are working extremely hard to deliver as quickly and safely as possible … if everything goes according to plan, we should be able to have most Canadians vaccinated by next September,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau also talked more about the government’s vaccination strategy of getting up to 414 million doses from seven different pharmaceutical companies – enough to vaccinate everyone in this country more than once. Because COVID-19 is a new disease and there are different approaches to tackling it, Canada wanted to keep its options open, he said.

“Some will work better than others and some will be speed inequalities that will cause further challenges, and we knew that creating a range of opportunities for Canadians was one of the best ways to ensure that we got the best possible way,” Trudeau said.

Asked what his biggest question was before the first dose of COVID-19 was given to a Canadian, Trudeau said it was about safety.

“I think the question we all have is: will it be safe?” Will it be effective? That’s what our scientists are looking at very, very carefully right now … There are jurisdictions and countries around the world that have arranged everything for one or maybe two different vaccines … Any vaccines will end up being the right pandemic, Canadians they have a very good chance of accessing millions of benefits, “said Trudeau.

Health Canada will have to evaluate each candidate before it can be given to Canadians, and on Thursday the agency’s chief medical adviser said the first approval of COVID-19 could take place before Christmas, in line with expected US and European approvals.

“We expect to make a final decision on vaccines at about the same time,” said Dr. Supriya Sharma told reporters on Thursday, during the first of a weekly public briefings on the state of public procurement and implementation plans.

This means that Canada was able to receive its first approval in December, to vaccinate the vaccinated priority groups between January and March, and to expand to include more Canadians in the coming months.

“And then we’ll have to figure out all those shipments,” she said.

At that time, the army is expected to play a role.


As CTV News first reported ahead of Rudeau Cottage’s speech in Trudeau on Friday, Fortin will be in charge of overseeing the massive logistics supply of the vaccine.

Trudeau called it “the greatest mobilization effort Canada has seen since World War II.”

There are already military logistics teams from the Canadian Armed Forces working with the Canadian Public Health Agency to plan for the introduction of vaccines for millions of Canadians in the coming months. This work has been quiet for months, but with positive reports of vaccine trials coming out in recent weeks, the country’s attention has been largely captured by an assessment of Canada’s situation.

Fortin, known as the National Operations Center, will manage the logistics and operations at this center.

“It will be the largest immunization in the country’s history,” Trudeau said. “We need to reach anyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live.”

Fortin most recently served as Chief of Staff of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, but also served as commander of the Iraqi NATO mission.

“The Canadian Armed Forces will assist with planning, including addressing challenges such as cold storage requirements, data sharing and reaching out to indigenous and rural communities,” Trudeau said.

Many of the tested vaccine candidates – including Pfizer – require two more doses and must be stored at very low temperatures, further complicating the high task of distributing millions of vials across the country.

The government has begun procuring freezers that are able to stay cool enough to maintain a stable supply of vaccines, and a procurement process is underway to supply, fly and manage benefits to all areas of the country.

The prime minister spoke again to the provinces on Thursday evening about the COVID-19 response, saying the federal government was offering the latest information it could, after frustration and confusion about the timelines and plans that took place this week.

“Since last spring, we have continued to work with the provinces on vaccine supply logistics.” We were engaged, we understood that the vaccine is the way to get through this pandemic, “said Trudeau.

Aware that Ontario has set a new record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in a single Friday and that coastal-to-coast Canadians are adapting to new levels of constraints in the face of the second wave, Trudeau said Canada is on “some of the toughest days of this year. pandemic ’. Trudeau reiterated that as the country waits for vaccines, standard public health measures still need to be taken.

As the Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada now has an average of 5,300 new daily cases per day, with continued “rapid growth” in many parts of the country. Dr. There, he said, Canada is well on its way to doubling the number of new daily cases in a week or two if Canadians do not limit their trips and interactions to the essential ones.

“We are in this together and the more we work as a team, the better we all do,” the prime minister said on Friday.

With files by Michel Boyer and Solarina Ho from CTV News

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