Questions continue to be raised about how the federal Liberals will ensure the COVID-19 vaccine, when it arrives in the country will be distributed to vulnerable people and Indigenous communities.
Ottawa is now suggesting January as the start date of when people will see the vaccine, once Health Canada approves it.
With confusion on national distribution, Northern Sask. MP Gary Vidal said its difficult to have a regional plan for First Nations communities.
“If we don’t have that figured out, what have we got figured out in the context of ensuring that some of our northern and remote communities who have elevated levels of risk who have elevated levels of challenges in those communities, there are more vulnerable people in general,” Vidal asked.
“They have it in an appropriate and a timely manner relative to everybody else? It cannot be delayed. They have to be right front and center in the plan so that they’re securing access to vaccines.”
Vidal asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons Wednesday during Question Period as to when he will outline a plan to ensure Indigenous communities have access to the vaccine.
The Prime Minister didn’t directly answer the question.
“We have ensured indigenous communities have what they need to fight and prevent the spread of COVID-19, including $2.4 billion to support indigenous families, students, businesses, communities and organizations. We have processed more than 1,300 PPE shipments. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with community leadership and are ready to provide additional support as needed, including as we move forward in rolling out vaccines to the communities most in need,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau admitted that other countries, which are domestically producing one of the three promising vaccines will immunize their citizens first.
The opposition quickly jumped on this announcement suggesting that the procurement deals signed with Ottawa have put Canadians behind other countries.
With a lack of domestic vaccine production capacity, the federal government is now moving on developing that infrastructure.
Yet Vidal remains hopeful that Canadians will see a vaccine early next year, as some countries may see them in the coming weeks.