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Trudeau government lags behind other major countries on pre-ordering potential coronavirus vaccines

The Public Health Agency of Canada said two weeks ago that a vaccine for the coronavirus wouldn't be widely available for the public until 2021 at the earliest.
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

While doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines have been sold to countries around the globe, Canada has yet to buy in, which some believe could cause problems in the near future.

University of Ottawa law professor and immunologist Amir Attaran told Global News that even if things go accordingly, Canada is setting itself up to be behind in administering vaccines to its populous.

"We don’t really have a major pharmaceutical industry in this country. There is no company that is going to be able to compete with the global companies that have entered this space already."

The United Kingdom recently announced that it would be receiving 30 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine which is being developed by Oxford University.

The drug manufacturer, AstraZeneca, has also made deals with France, Germany, Italy, and other European nations. Even the United States, who have been criticized internationally for their approach in battling the coronavirus, has a deal in place that would see millions of vaccines go their way.

Of course, this depends entirely on the vaccine being effective. The Public Health Agency of Canada said two weeks ago that a vaccine for the coronavirus wouldn't be widely available for the public until 2021 at the earliest.

The timeline given by the deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo, was also echoed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said that normal life would not return for "a long time."

"What is a normal life will take a long time to return, and even at this point, two or three years from now, even once a vaccine against COVID-19 is available, we will have changed our behaviour. We will have taken measures as a society that will be different from what we used to do," the prime minister told reporters in May.

While the federal government awaits the announcement of a successful vaccine, supplies to administer the vaccine, including millions of syringes, have been stockpiled.

A statement from Health Canada says that the government is positioning itself to be able to access the vaccine once one is developed.

"By supporting vaccine research and development, bio-manufacturing requirements to support large-scale production, enhancing capacity and access for clinical trials, and seeking solutions for domestic capacity, Canada will be in a better position to rapidly access a vaccine, once one becomes available," Health Canada said.

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