Federal NDP slams government for delay in vaccination

FEDERAL NDP Health Critic Don Davies on Tuesday said in a statement that Canadians are extremely disappointed to learn that shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Canada have been suspended entirely for next week and demanded transparency from the government.

He said: “This will further delay vaccination for Canada’s highest risk populations at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging across the country, and federal modelling warns of worse days to come.

“For months, the Trudeau Liberals have been secretive about the terms of the deals they’ve signed with big drug manufacturers. They are also displaying a pattern of contradictions that are becoming unacceptably common.

“Just last week, the federal government claimed that Canada’s vaccine shipment would be reduced by 50 percent over four weeks, rather than suspended entirely. We are also disturbed to learn that the European Union will have a much shorter interruption in deliveries than Canada, despite assurances from the Trudeau Liberals that countries will be impacted equally by supply reductions.

“Further, in light of Pfizer-BioNTech’s delivery disruption, it’s unfathomable that the federal government recently declined to purchase up to 16 million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine without disclosing the full terms of this foregone option.”

Davies stressed: “Transparency is essential for maintaining the public’s trust and confidence in Canada’s vaccination strategy.”

He added: “New Democrats are once again calling the federal government to reveal how many vaccine doses have actually been secured for each month until September 2021. Canadians deserve clarity since, as we’ve now seen, these orders aren’t firm. 

“Today, we also ask the federal government to confirm if Canada is actually guaranteed delivery of 4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of March 2021, or if this date simply represents another floating target.

“Canada’s federal government is responsible for ensuring we have access to enough vaccine doses to protect Canadians from COVID-19. People are making tremendous sacrifices to keep their communities safe because they understand that every day matters during this pandemic. They need and deserve the full details of Canada’s vaccine delivery timeline.”