Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons.

Kootenay-Columbia MP wants more clarity on federal vaccination rollout

Rob Morrison pushing for more information on vaccine distribution, prioritization

As Canada begins receiving shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison is calling for more federal government clarity over a national vaccination plan.

Morrison, a member of the Conservative opposition, said specific details from the federal government regarding distribution of the vaccine and determining who gets the vaccine first, are still unclear.

“They said they’re going to prioritize, but who? When?” asked Morrison. “That’s a far cry from 30-some million vaccines that may be required. I guess we’ve said for probably two months now — what is the plan?

The federal government has an initial order of 249,000 vaccinations from Pfizer-BioNTech, one of a few different pharmaceutical companies that have produced a COVID-19 vaccination. Canada has secured 76 million doses of the vaccine through an existing agreement with the company, however, timelines for the remaining deliveries is unclear in light of a global demand for the vaccination.

Additional challenges include transporting and storing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination, which must be kept at -70 degrees Celsius.

In total, the federal government has signed agreements with seven pharmaceutical companies that will provide up to 429 million vaccinations.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s top doctor, previously announced that 4,000 doses are coming to the province soon, with immunizations set to begin sometime this week.

While each province and territory will determine specific rollout vaccination locations and priority groups, Morrison said federal guidance on vaccine prioritization is still unclear.

“…We just want to see a plan so that people in different areas aren’t forgotten, like us, for example, in rural British Columbia,” Morrison said. The federal government is also responsible for providing vaccines to Indigenous First Nations.

The federal government also recently unveiled a fall economic update at the end of November, which included a commitment to investing up to $100 billion over the next three years to stimulate economic recovery.

However, specific details for those investments are sparse, according to Morrison.

“The vaccine is coming out, rapid testing is coming out, so now we should be focusing on economic recovery, and we’re just spending more money,” said Morrison.

He touted the federal government’s acquisition of rapid testing equipment, but lamented the lack of widespread use of that testing to open up domestic or international travel.

“Where’s the rapid testing?” Morrison asked. “I realize we want the vaccine that is coming out, but our economy is frail and I’d like to see a plan for rapid testing to be maybe international, so that people — when they come from abroad — are tested before they get here and how about at our point of entries, our border crossings like Kingsgate or Rykerts? How about those border crossings having that rapid testing, so if they test negative, they don’t need to quarantine?”

Morrison noted the fall economic update provided needed support and relief, singling out the live music and entertainment industry that has been particularly hard-hit, among many others, over the course of the pandemic.

“There’s some relief there, and I’m really glad to see that, but I think overall, just a little more planning,” Morrison said. “I’d like to see the government come out with a plan, rather than just spending.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City staff has passed an order requiring remedial action on a building that was severely damaged by fire last fall. Trevor Crawley photo.
City council orders remedial action on vacant buildings damaged by fire

City council has issued a remedial action order relating to vacant buildings… Continue reading

At the library
At the Cranbrook Public Library

By Mike Selby The Library is now open with extended hours (with… Continue reading

Candice Marie Neale was last seen by her family on May 5, 2021 around 11p.m. Cranbrook RCMP are asking anyone who sees Neale to contact police. (Submitted file)
UPDATE: Previously missing Cranbrook woman located, found safe and sound, says RCMP

Candice Marie Neale was reporting missing on Monday, she has since been found

Sisters Becky McArthur and Robin Hansen are the owners of Twisted Peaks, which marked its first birthday, May 11, 2021.
Twisted Peaks marks first birthday

Happy first birthday to Twisted Peaks, the frozen yogurt shop that began… Continue reading

GoByBike week takes place in Cranbrook from May 31st to June 6th. There are several challenges to participate in for the chance to win prizes, and the championship title. (Townsman file)
GoByBike week in Cranbrook returns at the end of May

Ride your bike to school or work between May 31st and June 6th

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read