According to an announcement from the Canadian Government, Canada will have a Covid-19 vaccine programme in place by Christmas. The country plans to distribute both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines first mong its residents, and the country has also made purchasing agreements with the likes of AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Medicago. Those vaccines that require special sub-zero storage facilities will need to be sent directly to specific sites across Canada, and then distributed onwards to communities from there.
“In a country as geographically large and diverse as ours, we are facing some logistical complexities,” noted Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo.
The most vulnerable, including healthcare workers and the elderly, are due to receive the vaccine first, likely in early 2021, following approval for use by Canadian health authorities. Six million doses from Pfizer and Moderna are due to arrive in Q1 2021.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he expects the majority of Canadians to have access to the vaccine by September 2021.
Pressure to schedule vaccine programmes ramps up around the world
“With the recent announcement of several potential Covid-19 vaccines one after another, countries around the world have been scrambling to put together their vaccine plans,” said GlobalData’s James Spencer, commenting on Trudeau’s announcement. “Canada isn't far behind the UK – one of the first countries to set out concrete plans, aiming to start vaccinations by 7 December 2020. Their goal is to immunise about 100,000 people weekly until 5 April 2021. This would be over a million people vaccinated in about a four-month time frame.
“Canada and the UK's move to begin vaccinations has put pressure on politicians all over the world to provide a similar schedule for their own countries.”
This is great news for the international travel industry – the widespread distribution of vaccines is going to be the crucial factor that will allow countries start opening up their borders again, and for people to start travelling. But those countries that fall behind or fail to secure ample vaccine numbers may struggle to recoup their inbound tourism revenue for some time.