OTTAWA – The Trudeau government is facing increasing pressure to give a clear timeline for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, after news the U.K. approved on Wednesday the Pfizer candidate for emergency use.
The U.K. is the first western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, a move that has prompted the federal opposition to once again ask why Canada didn’t move faster.
A statement from Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says our allies have plans to get vaccines to their people in days or weeks, and yet the prime minister has no timeline and no plan.
“The U.K. has approved Pfizer’s vaccine and are ready to begin vaccinating people next week, yet Canadians still have no idea when they’ll get vaccines,” he says. “Our allies around the world have plans to get vaccines to their people while Prime Minister Trudeau has no timeline, no plan for distribution, and no plan on who will get vaccines first. Canadians deserve certainty.”
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) December 2, 2020
His point is being echoed by Tory MPs, with Marilyn Gladu saying, “It’s too bad that the Liberals’ lack of planning has resulted in Canadians going to be delayed months.”
Conservative MP Michael Barrett claims Canada didn’t act fast enough to ensure we had access to immunizations when our allies do.
“They’re going to start vaccinating their population. We’re seeing that by the end of the first quarter, the promise from the Liberals is that we’ll have six-million doses, which is about three-million vaccinations,” he says.
However, Justin Trudeau and his government have recently been countering these claims, noting they have pre-ordered hundreds of millions of doses. The Pfizer vaccine is one of the frontrunners for approval and Canada is guaranteed a share of the first round of doses from competitor Moderna.
Officials have said they expect to approve COVID-19 vaccines around the same time as the U.S. and European Union, which could happen in days.
The first deliveries are expected in early January. The government has said people who are deemed most vulnerable and those working on the frontline are expected to be the first to receive the shots.
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Key COVID-19 numbers in the Ottawa area today – CBC.ca
- Ottawa is reporting 136 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.
- Western Quebec has confirmed 43 new infections today.
Today’s Ottawa update
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 136 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. OPH also declared 111 more cases resolved and reported no new deaths.
The current lockdown in eastern Ontario went into effect Dec. 26, and is now scheduled to last until Feb. 11.
A provincial stay-at-home order is also in effect.
Numbers to watch
88.9: The number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Ottawa residents, down from Friday.
1.01: The average number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t), has been in gradual decline this month but remains unchanged since Friday. OPH aims to keep the number below one.
4.1%: Ottawa’s average test positivity percentage, down from 4.5 per cent.
Across the region
Health authorities in western Quebec are reporting 43 new cases of COVID-19 but no more deaths.
Ontario reports 3056 new COVID-19 infections, 51 more deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Ontario is reporting more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases and a slight decrease in hospitalizations on Saturday.
The province logged 3,056 new infections and 51 additional deaths.
Twenty-five of the latest fatalities were among long-term care home residents, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest epidemiological summary.
To date, 3,162 long-term care residents have died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, representing 59 per cent of all virus-related deaths in the province. A total of 5,340 people have died from the virus in Ontario.
Provincial health officials said 3,212 more people have recovered from the virus on Saturday, bringing the number of active cases to 28,618.
Ontario recorded 2,998 new cases on Friday, 3,326 on Thursday and 2,961 on Wednesday.
A record 3,945 new cases were recorded on Jan. 10.
The seven-day rolling average now stands at 3,218, compared to 3,341 a week ago. Last week’s average does not include the approximately 450 additional cases that were reported by Toronto Public Health on Jan. 8 due to a data backlog.
In the past 24 hours, the province processed more than 73,800 tests, down from the record 76,472 tests conducted a day ago.
The testing positivity rate now stands at 4.9 per cent, up from 4.6 per cent a day ago, according to the Ministry of Health. The positivity rate was 5.3 per cent a week ago.
Most of the cases continue to be throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
“Locally, there are 903 new cases in Toronto, 639 in Peel, 283 in York Region, 162 in Durham and 152 in Ottawa,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted.
Toronto, Peel Region and York Region saw a decrease in new cases compared to a day ago, while Durham and Ottawa saw an increase.
Halton Region logged 61 new infections, down 20 from Friday, and Hamilton reported 53 new cases, a notable decrease from 138 cases logged a day ago.
Only three of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported zero new cases on Saturday, and 16 logged 10 or less new infections.
Patients hospitalized with the virus decreased slightly on Saturday as the province’s health care system remains overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
According to the government, 1,632 were hospitalized with the virus in the past 24 hours, down from 1,647 a day ago. On Tuesday, 1,701 people were in hospitals across the province with the virus but hospitalizations have been decreasing slightly ever since.
Of the latest hospitalizations, 397 are in intensive care units, up from 387 on Friday, and 281 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.
There have been more than 234,300 cases of the novel coronavirus in the province since the virus emerged almost a year ago. More than 200,400 people have recovered from COVID-19.
More than 19,000 completed vaccinations
As of 8 p.m. on Saturday, the government has administered more than 189,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the province.
In the past 24 hours, more than 14,400 doses were administered to Ontarians.
Since Dec. 14, more than 19,300 vaccinations have been completed across the province, as two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are required for full immunization.
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