Kenora MP Eric Melillo is continuing to push the federal government to increase their COVID-19 vaccination efforts, as Canada is quickly falling behind compared to other countries.
In the House of Commons last week, Melillo advocated for additional investments into securing additional vaccines, and to enhance its rollout across the country.
“We know that in order to get our economy back on track and to get life back to normal, we need a robust vaccine plan from the federal government. That’s something we’ve been lacking for a number of months now.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that every Canadian who wants to get vaccinated will be able to by the end of September 2021. He says reductions in vaccine shipments are expected to be short-lived and were planned for.
Three other companies, Johnson and Johnson, Novavax and AstraZeneca have all submitted COVID-19 vaccines to Health Canada for approvals. Canada’s already purchased $10 million doses from Johnson and Johnson, before receiving any approvals.
Canada also purchased 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been approved for use by the World Health Organization, but not by Health Canada at this point. 500,000 additional doses of their vaccine could come to Canada by the end of March, if approved.
According to Our World in Data, which has been tracking the amount of COVID-19 vaccines administered around the world, says Canada has given out 1.33 million total vaccinations so far.
As of February 18, Canada ranks 25th for countries with the most doses administered, behind Bangladesh and Indonesia, and just ahead of Romania and Mexico. The United States has the highest reported total at 56.28 million, with China sitting second at 40.52 million.
Melillo, who also serves as the Shadow Minister of Northern Affairs and FedNor, notes even though Ontario’s stay-at-home orders have ended, residents need to continue taking all of the proper precautions to stay safe, especially after a spike in cases in the Kenora district.
“It’s exciting for me and I know it’s exciting for many of us that we’re moving out of the stay-at-home orders and into a gradual reopening, but it’s important to know that COVID-19 is still here. We have to do everything we can to keep ourselves and those around us safe.”
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been in contact with a positive case, is asked to self-isolate, get tested, and remain in isolation until your test results are known.