January 15th, 2021
The federal government must provide a timeline for vaccine roll out to Canadians
VANCOUVER- Today, after the Procurement Minister confirmed production issues will reduce Pfizer's ability to deliver vaccines to Canada, New Democrats are again calling on the government to give Canadians more information about the deals they have signed with big pharmaceutical companies.
"COVID-19 cases rise sharply across large parts of the country and Canadians need access to a vaccine now more than ever. People are making tremendous sacrifices to keep each other safe and they deserve to know what to expect," said NDP Health Critic, Don Davies. "For months, the government has been secretive about the deals they've signed with big drug manufacturers and they're leaving Canadians in the dark about a realistic vaccination plan."
New Democrats are asking the government to reveal how many vaccine doses have actually been secured for each month until September 2021 so Canadians can plan for the coming months.
Canada has only received about 380,000 doses of the vaccine and another 400,000 are supposed to be delivered this month. However, Davies points out that relying on other nations to produce the vaccine could derail that timeline. While countries like Brazil, Australia, Japan, India and China successfully negotiated the right to domestically produce the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Liberal government failed to make that agreement in its negotiations with the same company.
"There is no reason Canada should be relying on other countries to produce vaccines for us. The government simply failed to negotiate that right and now production delays in Europe mean that Canadians will be the ones waiting extra weeks or months for a vaccine," said Davies. "The government needs to come clean and make pertinent contract details public.
"Canadians have a right to know what their government agreed to," Davies concluded.