Trudeau, premiers to discuss pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in virtual meeting

Trudeau, premiers to discuss pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in virtual meeting-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is convening a virtual First Ministers meeting on Thursday, with the pace of coronavirus vaccinations a key topic. (Sean Kilpatrick / Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will convene a virtual First Ministers meeting today, with speeding up COVID-19 vaccinations high on the agenda.

Earlier this week, Trudeau voiced frustration over the pace of getting Canadians inoculated against the novel coronavirus.

As of Wednesday, government figures show Canada had received nearly 425,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines — but fewer than 195,000 Canadians had received shots by then, according to a tally by a group of academics and data analysts.

In his first news conference of the year on Tuesday, Trudeau said he shared the frustrations of Canadians who think the vaccinations should be going faster.

Some provinces acknowledge there have been bumps in the road administering the vaccines, particularly with trying to get the delicate Pfizer product to remote areas.

But premiers, including Ontario’s Doug Ford, have said the real concern in the days and weeks ahead will be over Ottawa’s ability to get vaccines to the provinces quickly enough.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in a tweet Wednesday he will be raising concerns with Trudeau that the quantity of doses expected to be delivered to his province in January is insufficient.

“[Saskatchewan] is ready to deliver vaccines as quickly and safely as possible, as soon as we receive them,” the tweet said. “The federal [government] is now telling us to expect only 30,000 doses by the end of January. This is not nearly enough, and considerably less than what they had estimated last month.”


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