Premier Doug Ford had direct talks with the CEO of Pfizer Pharmaceutical this week but it doesn’t sound like he got clear answers to his demand to know when Ontario is getting’s its vaccine order filled. In his news conference today, the Premier was repeating his frustration with the lack of specifics coming from the Federal government about when Ontario will get vaccine, which type of vaccine, and critically, how much. Later in the news conference the premier seemed to be suggesting that initial shipments will be small and that deliveries will be sporadic.
The Premier expressed confidence that with Retired General Rick Hillier on Board whenever we do get the vaccine the government will be ready with a distribution plan and a priority list of who will be vaccinated first. He and Health Minister Christine Elliott said the first recipients will be front line health care providers and people in Long Term Care facilities.
The Premier also indicated that the COVID vaccination task force will be announced tomorrow, which in addition to Gen.Hillier will have experts on it with experience in logistics, public health as well as a medical ethicist in case supplies run short and tough decisions have to be made about rationing vaccine one the initial two groups are vaccinated.
Health Minister Elliott was asked about the fact that there are nearly 200 patients in ICU units now and the impact that might have on people waiting for cancer and other surgeries. The Minister said already hospitals that are overloaded are transferring surgeries to hospitals which still have some ICU capacity. “I know this is a hardship for patients and their families,” the Minister said, “but it is necessary”
Elliott added that the risk of overwhelming ICU beds was one of the key factors in the lockdown in Toronto and Peel Region.