The vast majority of Canadians blame Ottawa rather than provincial governments for delays in COVID-19 vaccine delivery, a new poll suggests.
Sixty-nine per cent of respondents believe Canada is behind on deliveries due to federal challenges obtaining doses on the global market, according to an online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies.
Only 14 per cent of respondents point the finger at provincial governments.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says all Canadians who want a dose will get one by the end of September, despite recent hiccups in the production of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Residents remain divided on whether they will be able to roll up their sleeves before October, with 44 per cent confident they will and 51 per cent skeptical.
The split suggests Canadians maintain a measure of faith in the Liberal government’s procurement efforts, said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.
“People haven’t given up hope that we will get there, but they’re certainly looking for answers,” he said.
Canada sits well below the top of the heap in vaccine doses administered per 100 people, ranking 17th out of two dozen large countries — well behind Romania and just ahead of China and Russia — according to one list.
Coronavirus: Pallister blasts federal government over lack of made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccines
“A lot of what we hear is that Canada is falling behind. When people hear that, they automatically think it’s got to be something going on in Ottawa more than in my province,” Bourque said.
Pfizer-BioNTech cut Canada’s deliveries by more than two-thirds over four weeks while a production site in Belgium was expanded, though shipments are mounting again as the month progresses.
Moderna also shorted Canada on expected doses at the start of February — the company attributed the problem to a slower-than-expected production ramp-up at its Swiss manufacturing partner Lonza — and will deliver only two-thirds of the initially planned drop during its next shipment on Feb. 22.
Just one in five survey respondents said Ottawa should look to approve vaccines developed in Russia and China even if further delays trip up the rollout at home.
More uncertainty over delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Canada
Germany became an unlikely backer of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine earlier this month, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying she would consider distributing it and providing production sites to speed up the European Union’s inoculation drive.
“It seems to be gaining some momentum or public favour, but for some reasons Canadians, they’re shying away from it,” Bourque said of the Sputnik jab.
The proportion of respondents who intend to get shots when a vaccine becomes available to them continues to grow, hitting 73 per cent versus 63 per cent in mid-October.
“So the intention is there,” Bourque said.
“But again, it’s just a question of supply.”
Conducted Feb. 12 to 14, the online poll surveyed 1,535 Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.
© 2021 The Canadian Press
COVID-19 pandemic could be over in Canada by September, microbiologist predicts – CTV Edmonton
With more doses of COVID-19 vaccine arriving in Canada and guidance changing on administering the shots to citizens, a microbiologist suggests the pandemic will “probably” be over in this country by September.
“I think we’re about to go into that third act and finally put an end to the pandemic,” said Jason Tetro, the author known as the Germ Guy, noting many people have been trained to be pessimistic this winter.
The first shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Canada on Wednesday, the third COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in this country.
Late Wednesday, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization issued new guidance on administering the COVID-19 vaccine. The panel of medical experts says the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines can be given up to four months after the first.
Tetro tells CTV News Ottawa that after a glum few months, there is reason for optimism.
“We’ve got lots of doses coming; we’ve got three approved, we’ve got two others that are in the pipeline. I think we’re going to be definitely getting to that point where by the summer we’re going to be in a very good position and probably see the end of this pandemic by September,” said Tetro.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the government will have enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate all Canadians by September. Trudeau said Wednesday he’s “optimistic” the timeline could speed up.
“If we get to a point where we have the entire population vaccinated, at least with the first shot, it’s probably going to get us to a point where we’re going to be able to gather again, we may not even need the masks and while we still will probably be hesitant to get back to normal, we’re going to start looking a lot better by that time,” said Tetro.
The microbiologist says the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine gives Canada a variety of vaccine options to begin targeting different age groups.
Tetro adds the longer intervals between doses can speed up the timeline to vaccinate all Canadians against COVID-19.
“What we’re trying to do now is to remove the pandemic status of COVID-19 and maybe even bring it down by the end of this year to what would essentially be a common cold and flu status,” said Tetro.
He notes research from Scotland, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and Israel shows one dose for all Canadians will make a difference.
“If we get everybody vaccinated with one dose, it doesn’t matter which one it happens to be, that’s going to give us the protection we need to be able to get through the seasonality and also to remove the pandemic emergency that we’re currently living through now,” said Tetro.
Woman almost loses $580 after money order reported lost by Canada Post – CTV Toronto
They’re not used as commonly as they once were, but a money order is something you can buy at Canada Post that is supposed to be as good as cash.
The post office says it’s a safe and secure way to send funds in the mail, but a Brampton woman says that when her money order got lost she was initially denied a refund.
Elizabeth Diehl said she appreciates Indigenous art and tries to support Canada’s First Nations artists so she ordered six pairs of handmade moccasins as Christmas presents.
“I ordered them in November as they are always lovely to wear on a cold winter day,” Diehl said.
When they arrived, Diehl sent a money order for $580 to the woman who made them in Weagamow First Nation in northern Ontario.
A money order is the preferred method of payment in the fly-in community.
“She relies on Canada Post money orders because they don’t have active banks up there I believe,” Diehl said.
One month after sending the money order, the person contacted Diehl to say she had never received it.
Canada Post said it would take 45 days to investigate so Diehl sent another money order to make sure the woman would receive her funds for the moccasins.
Canada Post eventually told Diehl the money order was lost in the mail, but that she would only get back fees she paid for the money order, not the $580 dollars.
A customer service agent with Canada Post told her “unfortunately, because insurance coverage was not purchased at the time of mailing, we are unable to provide any additional compensation.”
Diehl said there was no mention of insurance coverage being needed when she purchased the money order.
When CTV News Toronto reached out to Canada Post, we were told insurance is not required for money orders and funds are guaranteed returned if a money order is lost and uncashed.
“We spoke to Ms. Diehl to let her know we are refunding her $580 money order as per our policies,” a spokesperson told CTV news Toronto.
Diehl felt if she hadn’t contacted CTV News Toronto she would not have received her refund.
Canada PM says U.S. very open to helping other nations with COVID-19 vaccines
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) – The United States is “very open” to helping other countries procure COVID-19 vaccines and conversations about how to do so are continuing, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.
The United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. The initial goal had been end of July.
Canada‘s target is end-September and critics, who complain about the slow vaccine rollout so far, say Trudeau should ask the United States to permit shipments across the border.
Trudeau told reporters it was clear from his conversations with Biden that Washington understood the best way to combat COVID-19 was to do so worldwide.
“By stepping up on the COVAX facility internationally, by looking at how they can be helpful around the world, (they are) very open to helping out other countries and those conversations will continue,” he said.
The COVAX program co-led by the World Health Organization is designed to ensure equitable vaccine distribution worldwide.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday he was hopeful the United States will be able to share COVID-19 vaccines.
Later on Wednesday, Canada‘s advisory panel on immunization recommended that to make the most of limited supplies, the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc vaccines should be extended to four months, up from six weeks.
“Canada will be able to provide access to first doses of highly efficacious vaccines to more individuals earlier,” the panel said on its website. The provinces of Alberta and British Columbia have already announced a four-month gap.
The six-week gap was already a deviation from the way the vaccines were tested. In clinical trials, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were giving three weeks apart and the Moderna shots four weeks apart.
Canada has recorded a total of 22,045 COVID-19 deaths compared to some 513,000 in the United States.
A first batch of 500,000 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca Plc arrived on Wednesday. These had not been included in Ottawa’s initial plan, Trudeau said, noting regulators were also examining other vaccines.
“We are very optimistic that we are going to be able to accelerate some of these time lines,” he said.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell and Bill Berkrot)
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