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Conservatives call on Feds to get vaccines for all adults by May Long weekend

Last Updated Apr 29, 2021 at 1:03 pm CDT

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Summary

Conservatives put forward a motion calling on Ottawa to be able to offer vaccines to all adults by May Long weekend.


Motion inaccurately says Ottawa extended extended intervals between vaccine doses to four months


Moderna announced it is ramping up production


OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Federal Conservatives are calling on Canada to get a vaccine for every adult by the May Long weekend, but an inaccuracy in the motion the party’s put forward is stealing some of the spotlight.

The motion put forward by Leader Erin O’Toole claims the federal government extended intervals between vaccine doses to four months, when that is not the case. The provinces make that call based on advice from the national advisory committee on immunization, which is an independent expert committee.

O’Toole doubled down on the claim when asked about the inaccuracy.

It’s not clear if the timeline is possible given the current delivery schedule. the government’s goal is the end of June.

“Canadians are frustrated. They want to get back to work. They want to go back to school. They want to visit their loved ones again,” O’Toole said. “The provinces and health authorities have been clear that they have the capacity to administer more vaccines. They have the demand for those vaccines. What is missing is the supply.”

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Meanwhile, Moderna has announced it is scaling up production to between 800 million and 1 billion vaccines before the end of the year. It also wants to produce up to 3 billion doses in 2022. It’s good news given Canada’s vaccine shipments from the drugmaker have recently faced delays and reductions.

Health Canada anticipates a total of 36.5 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India by June 30.

Provinces initially suspended giving AstraZeneca shots to people under the age of 55 based on an advisory committee’s advice, but their recommendation changed on April 23 to reflect that the shot is safe for anyone aged 30 and older. Provinces have yet to move the threshold quite that low, however.

With files from the Canadian Press