The Ontario government is planning for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines using industry partners to roll them out across the province. The Ford government says it will be one of the largest vaccine distribution projects in the province’s history.
Ontario is preparing to receive vaccines by Dec. 31 and the first doses are expected to be made available in the first few months of 2021.
On Tuesday, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, along with Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, toured McKesson, a pharmaceutical distribution company. Its warehouse in Brampton is the type of facility that could be instrumental in the storage and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is a massive undertaking and here in Ontario we are fortunate to have the health, industry and logistical expertise to get the job done,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “I will continue to press the federal government for more information on the status of these vaccines.”
Ontario will be receiving expertise and resources through partnerships with public and private sectors such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and logistics to support planning and logistic efforts for Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program led by General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force
“The safe, secure and successful delivery of COVID-19 vaccines is a vital mission,” said General Hillier. “The logistics supporting the delivery, storage and administration of the vaccine are essential to ensuring the successful rollout of the vaccine and ultimately the health and well-being of Ontarians.”
The province will receive logistical support from vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer initially, but the task force, in partnership with scientists and ethics professionals, will advise on the prioritization of vaccine delivery sites and populations.
The planning and implementation of the immunization program will build on lessons learned from based COVID-19 initiatives including, PPE equipment logistics and the organization of rapid opening of COVID-19 assessment centres to ensure that all Ontarians remain informed and are able to be immunized as doses become available.