Friday, January 22, 2021

Randall Denley: After a dismal start, Ontario’s vaccine rollout looks…even more dismal

Randall Denley: After a dismal start, Ontario’s vaccine rollout looks...even more dismal

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Vaccinating Ontarians against COVID -19 is the most important challenge the Ford government will face this year and, one would have thought, one of the most straightforward.

There aren’t that many moving parts. Federal government buys vaccine. Federal government distributes vaccine to province. Provincial government determines vaccine priorities and distributes vaccine to inoculation sites. People get vaccinated.

Vaccinating the majority of the adult population of a province as large as Ontario is a significant logistical task, but both governments have had months to figure this out. Despite that, progress so far is dismal, and Ontarians haven’t been given a clear message on who will get the vaccine and when.

Start with the federal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chastised provincial governments this week for being too slow to administer the limited vaccine supply his government has procured. He should be glad they haven’t gone faster. The slow provincial pace has somewhat masked the severe vaccine shortage facing the country. As of Monday, Canada has received about 424,000 doses of vaccine, with 148,000 doses going to Ontario. Considering that each person requires two doses, that’s a ridiculously small number.

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