In Ottawa there was a little more clarity about how Canada’s COVID vaccination will roll out Federal officials admitted the initial supply of the doses will be limited — just three million Canadians are expected to be able to get a shot in the first three months of 2021. Millions more doses are expected to arrive as the supply chain stabilizes.
Refrigeration is a challenge. Pfizer Vaccine which will likely be approved this month, needs to be kept at approximately -80 degrees Celsius to remain stable. The Moderna vaccine, must be kept at -20 degrees Celsius. But the federal government says it already has a network of ultra-cold storage facilities across the country.
Denis Fortin the government’s point man on the logistics of the vaccination program, said at least one “dry run” has been executed so far, with more planned in the days ahead, to ensure things run smoothly once this vaccine hits our shores from manufacturing hubs in the U.S. and abroad. These practice runs will ensure officials are comfortable with what Fortin called the “very unique requirements” of this vaccine.
“We’re very much executing a whole-of-nation approach. The size and scope and scale of this problem is unprecedented and there’s a number of factors at play,” he said. “I like the idea of being ready before the Christmas timeframe, so we are certain to be ready when it comes in January.”
The general said his team is in daily contact with Pfizer and the company is “comfortable” with the plan that Canada has crafted. Pfizer has said it won’t ship product to a country that isn’t ready to receive a vaccine that is so temperature-sensitive.
Reporters asked the team why Pfizers vaccine hasn’t already received approval since it has been green-lit in the US and the answer was that the approval could be given in the next seven to ten days.
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