At a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to U.S. President’s Donald Trump’s claim that a viable COVID-19 vaccine could be available in a matter of “weeks,” if not by the end of the year.
“We are hopeful that the vaccines will arrive yesterday, but they won’t,” Trudeau said. “There’s still a number more months of work to do.”
“Reasonable expectation is that vaccines could start to arrive sometime in the new year but even then, there will be smaller amounts of doses that will have to be distributed to priority populations, I think of most vulnerable or our frontline workers.”
The prime minister also said Canada has “an excellent portfolio of vaccine potentials” but stressed that “nobody’s got a vaccine yet.”
“There are still trials going on, there are still a number of companies, some closer than others, but we are waiting to ensure that those vaccines are effective and further, that they will be safe for Canadians,’ Trudeau said. “Nothing will be distributed in Canada until Health Canada is absolutely certain that the safety of Canadians is being properly covered and taken care of.”