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Bill Kelly: Canadians don’t need uncertainty over coronavirus vaccine

Click to play video 'Trudeau admits Canadians won’t be among first to get COVID-19 vaccine' Trudeau admits Canadians won’t be among first to get COVID-19 vaccine
While the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are talking about vaccinating people from COVID-19 as soon as December, Canadians will have to wait a little longer. – Nov 24, 2020

The good news for the Trudeau government is that a recent Leger Marketing poll shows that two-thirds of Canadians are either very satisfied or moderately satisfied with the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bad news is, that support could melt away like an ice cube on a summer’s day as details of how the government may have mishandled the procurement of the much-anticipated vaccines unfold.

Read more: Will Canada lag behind on coronavirus vaccines? It’s complicated, experts say

Let’s be clear: Canada no longer has the infrastructure to manufacture vaccines in mass quantities because past governments, both Liberal and Conservative, stood by while our pharmaceutical industry was bought out by foreign entities or just wilted away because of lack of government support.

We still have some capacity, but why didn’t we ramp up our limited production facilities in anticipation of a vaccine?

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The major suppliers, the United States, Germany and the U.K., will be first in line, but other countries that also have limited manufacturing capacity, including Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Russia and India, all struck licensing agreements with the vaccine developers to manufacture some of those vaccines in their countries, which would make the vaccine more readily available to those citizens.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: The challenges in distributing vaccines' Coronavirus: The challenges in distributing vaccines
Coronavirus: The challenges in distributing vaccines – Nov 26, 2020

It appears that the Canadian government didn’t cut the same kind of deal.

The government insists that any delay in distribution to Canadians will be minimal; we certainly hope so.

But if we’re on the outside looking in, as other countries benefit from COVID-19 vaccines, those “satisfied” Canadians could change their opinions pretty quickly.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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