Conservative Members of Parliament blasted Liberal Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Procurement Minister Anita Anand after they failed to show up to an emergency meeting discussing various issues regarding the state of coronavirus vaccinations in Canada.
"Last week, the Health Committee unanimously passed a motion for an emergency meeting calling on the Health Minister and the Procurement Minister to testify on pressing issues, including advice around the AstraZeneca vaccine, vaccine supply, and more," wrote Conservative Shadow Health minister Michelle Rempel Garner in a press release.
"The Liberals outright ignored this important meeting. In contravention of the motion, the Chair didn't even bother to schedule the emergency meeting at all.
"Opposition Members of Parliament are seeking urgent information and concrete answers for Canadians on the emerging issues related to the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine; concerns surrounding possible vaccine supply shortages due to export restrictions by the European Union and India;
"Provincial governments receiving late vaccine deliveries from the federal government; and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization acknowledged that the reason they are recommending the four-month dosing interval is due to 'limited COVID-19 vaccine supply.'"
The safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine was called into question after its use was suspended last month in a number of European countries over fear that it may cause or contribute to blood clotting. Most jurisdictions which suspended the vaccine have since reinstated its use, with no evidence surfacing connecting the vaccine to blood clots.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has also had its efficacy questioned in certain age groups, with the Canadian government initially suggesting that it not be used on adults over the age of 65.
The concerns surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine have largely been overshadowed by the general issues regarding the vaccine rollout in Canada. Despite a relatively strong showing in the first days of the vaccine rollout, Canada has since been surpassed by over 50 countries in vaccine doses administered.
Rempel took aim at Hajdu and Anand's decision to attend the Liberal Party convention despite ignoring emergency meetings regarding the vaccine rollout.
"Ministers Hajdu and Anand said they were unavailable to provide this vital information this week, but they were able to clear their schedules to speak at the Liberal Convention," Rempel wrote.