Canada looking at fourth COVID-19 vaccine option; many Canadians willing to wait

For many Canadians, it’s not a matter of if they’ll get the COVID-19 vaccine but when.

“I’ll wait if I have to,” said Brockville resident Robert Cromwell.

In addition to Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, Health Canada is now looking at a fourth vaccine candidate being developed by Johnson & Johnson that only requires one dose instead of two.

Although there’s no set date for when vaccines will be rolled out in Canada, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced on Tuesday some of the cold and ultra cold storage freezers the government purchased have arrived.

“We have received 34 of these freezers and we have 92 more on the way, together with existing federal capacity, we can store 33.5 million frozen and ultra frozen doses of vaccines,” said Anand.

Anand also pushed back on the suggestion Canada would be at the back of the line for doses.

“Moderna has publicly confirmed that Canada was one of the first countries in the world that it signed an agreement with for its vaccine candidate and, indeed, has stated publicly that Canada is at the head of the line for its vaccine doses,” Anand said.

It’s also not clear how many doses each province will get but Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province is counting on receiving them in the first quarter of 2021.

This comes as a new poll found:

  • 37 per cent of Canadians surveyed say they are very concerned that Canada may not receive doses of a COVID vaccine as early as the United States.
  • 48 per cent say they were not concerned about getting a vaccine first
  • 10 per cent say they don’t care or are not planning on getting vaccinated.

The poll also suggests that 65 per cent of Canadians intend to take a COVID-19 vaccine when it's approved by Health Canada and available for free while 17 per cent say they don't intend to.

With files from The Canadian Press.