Vaccine distribution, the shortcoming to drag off a mass marketing campaign that might spark crowds and the absence of a nationwide immunization registry are among the many high hurdles dealing with Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, says the pinnacle of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
“To me the challenge is … the distribution. So we make the recommendations, but between that and getting the vaccine into people’s arms is going to be quite a challenge,” Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh informed CBC’s Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton on Sunday.
The impartial committee is made up of specialists tasked with advising the Public Health Agency of Canada on the usage of vaccines. One of its objectives is to assist provinces and territories decide who ought to first obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, contemplating some populations have greater wants and preliminary provide can be restricted.
Key populations for prioritization embrace seniors, front-line employees and others susceptible to contracting or transmitting the sickness. The committee says different issues, reminiscent of individuals who belong to a number of at-risk populations, the traits of authorized vaccines and the severity of outbreaks also needs to be factored into the nation’s distribution plan.
It’s as much as particular jurisdictions to hammer out the logistics of these plans, Quach-Thanh mentioned, including that methods used throughout 2009’s H1N1 pandemic will not work right now.
“We’re not going to be able to do the mass vaccination campaign like we were doing for H1N1, for instance, because … putting people together increases the risk of spreading COVID,” she mentioned. The marketing campaign was Canada’s largest vaccination program and drew crowds and prolonged lineups from these looking for a vaccine.
Promising week for vaccine candidates
Quach-Thanh’s feedback come after an encouraging week for COVID-19 vaccine candidates, with Moderna posting a 94.5 per cent success fee for its vaccine on Monday and Pfizer asserting a 95 per cent success fee two days later.
The doctor mentioned the NACI has but to see knowledge from both pharmaceutical firm concerning their Phase three trials, however added that she hopes to see that data quickly.
The federal authorities has agreements with the 2 firms, together with Novavax and Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It additionally has offers with Sanofi/GSK, AstraZeneca and Medicago.
Canada is to obtain 20 million to 76 million doses of every vaccine ought to they make it by medical trials and get the inexperienced mild from Health Canada.
Another impediment, Quach-Thanh mentioned, is the truth that the nation has no nationwide immunization registry to supervise and monitor Canadians’ vaccination data — one thing that might show helpful provided that the Pfizer and Moderna candidates have to be administered twice.
“It adds a challenge to this issue,” she mentioned. “I think that most provinces have registries so that they’re able to follow up on who gets what, and it’s now the time to really be able to use it.”
On Tuesday, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public well being officer, mentioned Ottawa’s aim is to cowl the “vast majority of the Canadian population” by the tip of 2021.
Quach-Thanh mentioned it is important to maintain that timeframe in thoughts.
“If people think that by March everybody is going to be out of the woods because we’re all going to get vaccinated, that doesn’t work,” she mentioned.
“We expect that those non-pharmacological interventions like physical distancing, mask wearing … will likely need to still be in place for another year or so because we don’t expect most … Canadians to have been vaccinated before that time.”