When the call comes, they’ll be ready. Provincial representatives were on-hand Tuesday to announce that Ontario has the capability to distribute a vaccine provincially.
Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones toured pharmaceutical company McKesson Canada in Brampton, as they planned a rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Collaborating with industry experts in health care and logistics will be key to ensuring we are prepared by Dec. 31 for the first phase of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, when they are available,” said Elliott, who said McKesson may be one of the sites chosen to help store and distribute a vaccine.
The announcement came on the back of a prior notice that retired General Rick Hillier had been recruited to oversee a provincial logistics strategy for the vaccine, with distribution channels yet to be decided.
The federal government will outline what requirements are needed for specific vaccines, said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. “This is a massive undertaking and here in Ontario we are fortunate to have the health, industry and logistical expertise to get the job done,” said Ford.
“I will continue to press the federal government for more information on the status of these vaccines.” The planning and implementation of an immunization program will be based on previous experience from the logistical rollout of personal protective equipment, said Jones.
“Our government is leveraging the expertise and resources of key industry partners to ensure Ontario is ready for the safe and efficient rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the province,” said Jones.
“We are confident these key partners will support the work of our task force, led by General Hillier, to prepare for the next step of Ontario’s recovery and keep Ontarians safe.