Canada now has enough COVID-19 vaccines to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday during a stop in New Brunswick.
Speaking from the vaccine clinic at the Moncton Coliseum, Trudeau said the country has now received more than 66 million doses.
“Back in the winter, I made a promise that we would have enough vaccines for all eligible Canadians by the end of September,” he said.
“So not only have we kept that promise, but we’ve done it two months ahead of schedule.”
Currently, Canadians aged 12 and up are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those under the age of 18 are only able to get Pfizer.
Trudeau urged everyone who hasn’t gotten a vaccine yet to book their shot.
“These vaccines work and they’re safe, and they’re also available, and of course, completely free,” he said. “So with enough doses for everyone, there’s no more excuses to not get your shot.”
He said the federal government is working with provinces to encourage their residents to get vaccinated.
Anita Anand, the federal minister of public services and procurement, said Canada will have 68 million doses by the end of the week.
She said 80 per cent of eligible Canadians have at least one dose of vaccine and 64 per cent are fully vaccinated, but adds “we have more work to do.”
Anand also said the country continues to wait for approvals for kids under the age of 12.
“We have supply, that’s the bottom line,” she said. “We have sufficient supply for mRNA vaccines for additional age groups as they begin to receive approval from Health Canada.”
Another stop in the Maritimes
Trudeau will also visit P.E.I. later Tuesday afternoon, where he will attend a private meeting with Premier Dennis King at 4 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m., he will make an announcement and hold a media availability at Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, joined by the province’s minister of families, children and social development, the minister of education and lifelong learning, and the minister responsible for the status of women.
It’s expected that announcement will involve $10-per-day childcare, which the Trudeau Liberals have already promised to implement within the next five years.
The prime minister has already announced subsidized childcare deals with Nova Scotia, B.C. and Yukon.
During the announcement in Moncton, Trudeau said he continues to be in discussions with other provinces – including New Brunswick – about signing on to the program.
“The ball is very much in their court,” he said.
“I’m very hopeful that all provinces will end up signing on in the coming months, but it will take, in some cases, pressure from local activists, unions, family groups, to say, ‘Look, the federal government has billions of dollars for childcare across the country. We want our share, you better sign on soon.’”
Trudeau didn’t announce any plans yet this week to visit Nova Scotia, the most populous Maritime province.