New Brunswick is proposing to make vaccination of schoolchildren against a variety of diseases mandatory, with virtually no exemptions. Legal experts say this could be a violation of rights in the Canadian Charter of Freedoms and Rights. (The Canadian Prsss)

Canada prepares for mass COVID-19 vaccinations

Canada orders millions of syringes

There is an international rush, competition almost, as hundreds of labs around the world seek to develop a vaccine against the SARS-CoV2 virus.

The World Health organisation says some 133 potential vaccines are in development with ten of them in clinical trials in the U.S., U.K., and China.  Of the remainder in pre-clinical trials, one such vaccine trial is being carried out at the University of Alberta in collaboration with CanSino Biologies of China, and Canada’s National Research Council. The federal government however has given authorisation for 38 clinical tests.

When the virus began to spread, countries around the world were caught off-guard with limited supplies of ‘personal protective equipment’ (PPE) on hand. This included medical quality face masks, shields, gowns and gloves. As a result there was an international scramble and competition among countries to secure supplies.

It seems now the Canadian government does not want to be caught off guard again when a vaccine does become available.

Yesterday,  Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand told reporters during a news briefing that Canada has signed a contract for 37 million syringes. The deal with the Canadian branch of the multinational medical giant, Becton-Dickinson would provide a syringe for virtually every single Canadian.  The latest Statistic Canada estimate (Jan 1,2020) put the population at just under 38 million ( 37,894,790).

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced yesterday that Canada has placed an order for millions of syringes to be ready once a vaccine is developed. (via CBC News)

Anand told reporters in Ottawa the government wants to ensure that, “when a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready for administration,” adding, “We are continuing to work to procure the other supplies needed for eventual mass vaccinations on a systemic level”.

No timetable for delivery was set as Anand noted that for the moment the need is not pressing.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer noted that the government is also working on plans to administer a vaccine, and establish priorities for certain segments of the population.

Given the world competition to acquire other PPE essentials, the early syringe order is seen as planning ahead. As for supplies of other PPE the government procurement tracker shows only small numbers of products ordered have been delivered

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