The federal government is gearing up to bring in an external public health consultant to advise on the coronavirus vaccine distribution, amidst the growing scrutiny and questions over how the proves is unfolding.
On Tuesday, the Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that Canada is poised to see the dramatic acceleration in the delivery of the coronavirus vaccines in the summer and fall, as officials keep all eyes on a timeline, that was laid out late last year in which all the Canadians who want a vaccine shall get one by September 2021.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has added that the country remains on track for that target.
With the announcement being made this week of an extra 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is set to arrive in Canada this year, that would further put the total number of coveted vaccines scheduled to the land of the Canadian soil this year at 80 million doses, which is more than enough to cover the entire population for the two doses.
Premiers like Ontario’s Doug Ford have stated that the federal government is not necessarily shipping those doses to the provinces quickly enough, as the public pressure mount with the number of cases spiking rapidly. At the same time, Ontario is amongst the jurisdictions where the public health experts have criticized the provincial leaders for partial and frequently unclear restrictions.
In that context, the Public Health Agency of Canada is looking to hire an external public health expert to consult on an as needed basis about the vaccine distribution efforts.
The tender notice that was posted on the government procurement website on Wednesday morning stated that the individuals will be held responsible for developing and introducing the public health guidance to support the federal, provincial, and territorial efforts that are related to the vaccine’s rollout.
This includes conducting post mortems on the decisions made by the federal and provincial or territorial counterparts, and also providing guidance in terms of the mass vaccination efforts.
However, it is still not clear as to why PGAC is looking to bring in an external public health expert for those tasks.
Furthermore, the posting comes as the National Advisory Committee on Immunization issues new advice on Wednesday saying that the 21-day and the 28-day schedules between doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines can be stretched to up to six weeks, if and when necessary.
Out of the roughly 550000 doses of the vaccines that have already arrived in Canada since December, 71 percent have been injected into the people’s arms.
There is another 380000 that is being expected to arrive this week.
The federal government has also launched a tracker website that publishes the specific number of doses that are being scheduled to be delivered to each province over the coming weeks after some premiers have criticized the government for not providing clear enough information on their delivery timelines.