PM fields vaccine questions during virtual townhall


The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister each weighed in tonight on how our country is tackling COVID-19.

The pair held a virtual townhall where Canadians wrote in and sent video questions to ask both Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland.

Trudeau was asked everything from the broken promises to lift boil water advisories, to climate change, to his favourite punk band. However some of the most crucial questions unsurprisingly centred around COVID-19 and the potential vaccines in the making.

"There are lots of vaccines, they are coming, but we're going to make sure that before we give the vaccine to any Canadians, we are certain that it is safe for people," he said. "Because we only get through this with a vaccine, but we get through this with a safe vaccine."

Trudeau didn't budge much on what the criteria will be for the first groups who will be innoculated, but did give a general answer.

"It shouldn't surprise you that the vaccines are going to go first to the most vulnerable, whether it's the elderly, whether it's frontline healthworkers, whether it's remote Indigenous communities that are facing real challenges," Trudeau said. "These are the kinds of things that we need to do first to protect those people."

Freeland also weighed in, touting the fact that Canada has a strong vaccination program already in place.

"Millions and millions of Canadians get vaccinated in their provinces and territories by the provincial and territorial healthcare systems every year," she said. "So we should rest assured that this is something we have a national system to do and it's going to work."

However this comes the same day that Canada's top doctor Theresa Tam warned that the list of who will be top-priority for a vaccine needs to be refined.

The initial list includes people most at risk of serious illness or death and those most at risk of being exposed.

Speaking at the Canadian Immunization Conference, Tam said the initial six million doses set to arrive early next year won't be enough to cover all of those people.

Tam said Canadians can expect larger numbers of doses to arrive in the spring after more vaccines are approved and production has been scaled up.