Although Donald Trump has made moves to ensure the United States administers U.S.-procured vaccines domestically first, it seems Canadian officials aren’t worried about getting COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.
Speaking during a press briefing on December 8, Federal Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said he was confident Trump’s order wouldn’t affect Canada’s supply of doses.
"With respect to the Pfizer doses, we expect them to start arriving in the coming days, in the next week or so," he said, according to CBC News.
LeBlanc also noted that the Canadian government had "no reason" to be concerned about the incoming shipments, particularly as “in the contracts themselves, we contemplated having access to production facilities on more than one continent."
We have no reason to think whatsoever that access to the Pfizer vaccine will be in any way disturbed.
LeBlanc’s statement was backed up by a spokesperson for Pfizer, who told CBC News that they're "committed to honouring our agreements."
The company also confirmed that countries, including Canada, have "a number of procurement routes to rapidly secure vaccine supply."
These comments came just hours after the incumbent U.S. president announced his intention to prioritize inoculating Americans when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine supplies the U.S. government has secured.
It remains unclear how Trump’s order would actually be enforced and his administration’s top scientist refused to speculate on the president’s plan.
“Frankly, I don’t know, and frankly, I’m staying out of this. I can’t comment,” the vaccine expert told Good Morning America.
“I literally don’t know,” he insisted.
On Monday, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau revealed that the country will be receiving an early delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech candidate.
Up to 249,000 doses are expected to arrive as early as next week, and a plan for distribution is already in the works.