Premier Doug Ford said that Ontario should make its own COVID-19 vaccine, as the Pfizer supply is set to decrease over the next month.
On Monday during a press conference, Ford was asked why the EU will be following their regular Pfizer schedule by next week, whereas Canada will not be getting back to its regular schedule until February.
Health Minister Christine Elliott noted that for the next two Pfizer shipments, the first will see a 20% reduction and the second will see an 80% reduction. However, in late February and early March, there will be larger doses of vaccine coming in.
“This is a temporary situation,” she said, and is due to “retooling” at Pfizer’s Belgium site.
Ford said that the impact is “huge” and that when his government was criticized for holding back the vaccine, it was for potential issues such as delays. He added that he wishes they held back on more doses.
“We still have the Moderna vaccine coming,” he said. “I talked to the federal government, that I have full confidence in, to put pressure on Pfizer… Why should someone jump ahead of Canada?”
Ford added that Ontario has a big pharmaceutical industry and that “we need to start making our own vaccine, God forbid it ever happens again. We have the power of Ontario and Canada as a whole. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have our own vaccine in the future.”
To date, Ontario has distributed over 200,000 vaccines, with the goal to have long-term care homes in COVID-19 hotspots fully vaccinated by January 21.
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Ontario has been under a second State of Emergency and a new Stay at Home order since January 14.
This means everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, exercising or essential work.
There is also a Pfizer vaccine shortage in Canada, which will impact the whole country’s rollout plan for the next month.