Rising cases frightening, PM Trudeau says, vows vaccine rollout will scale up

Rising cases  frightening,  PM Trudeau says, vows vaccine rollout will  scale up
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the state of the pandemic is “frightening,” and is vowing that the number of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being delivered to Canada will “scale up,” in February.

This week, more than 124,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered to 68 sites across the country, and over the rest of January Canada will receive more than 208,000 Pfizer doses per week. Referring to the vaccine delivery schedule as it stands amid provincial calls for more doses, Trudeau added that more than 171,000 Moderna doses will be delivered by the end of next week. 

“Quantities of both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine will scale up in February. Remember that Canada has the most vaccines secured per capita in the world, which means that, by September, we will have enough vaccines for every Canadian who wants one,” he said during his national update on the COVID-19 response on Friday. 

On Thursday night Trudeau held a call with his provincial and territorial counterparts about the pace of the vaccine rollout. After calling for premiers to get on with it, provinces and their health care facilities have accelerated their administration of immunizations and are now calling for larger deliveries of doses from the federal government, more quickly.

According to a readout from the cross-Canada call from the Prime Minister’s Office, the federal and provincial governments vowed to keep working together on the vaccine rollout, and also discussed the continued rise in COVID-19 cases and increasing outbreaks in long-term care homes.

His latest update from Rideau Cottage comes as one of Ontario’s top public health officials is warning the pandemic curve is going “the wrong way.”

“Today s numbers are to be frank, they are scary… It s going the wrong way,” Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said Friday morning. “We have more and more people hospitalized, more and more people in ICU, more and more people on ventilators.”

Across the country, with many focused on the vaccine administration figures, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are climbing following the holiday season, despite varying degrees of lockdowns across Canada.

“We re in a desperate situation,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday of the situation in his province. “This is the most serious situation we ve ever been in… since the beginning of this pandemic.” 

There are more than 80,000 active cases across the country, and there have been a total of 639,3833 confirmed COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic. More than 16,500 people have died.

“Frankly, it’s frightening to see cases rise at home and around the world, day after day,” Trudeau said.

Acknowledging the state of the pandemic, the prime minister said he knows things are “tough” right now, imploring people to take the necessary public health measures and committing to keep up federal aid from economic supports to the deployment of the military to assist in communities facing outbreaks. 
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