‘Majority’ of Canadians should be vaccinated against coronavirus by September: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a majority of Canadians should be vaccinated against the coronavirus by next September.

He cited Canada’s top doctors as he detailed the news from outside his home on Friday.

“The fact that the doctors highlighted that if all goes according to plan, we should be able to have a majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September, puts us in very good stead,” Trudeau said, speaking from the front steps of Rideau Cottage.

“We’re working extremely hard to deliver as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Read more: Will Canada lag behind on coronavirus vaccines? It’s complicated, experts say

Trudeau also provided details of how the rollout plan for those vaccines is starting to take shape. He shared that he has tapped the former head of the NATO mission in Iraq, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, to lead the federal government’s COVID-19 distribution of a vaccine.

Click to play video 'Canadians could get first COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021' 4:19 Canadians could get first COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021

Canadians could get first COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021

Fortin will head up the logistics and operations within the National Operations Centre the government is establishing to receive and distribute vaccines.

“Canada is well prepared for large-scale rollouts of vaccines, but this will be the biggest immunization in the history of the country. We must reach everyone who wants a vaccine, no matter where they live,” Trudeau said.

He said specific challenges within this include ensuring the vaccine can reach Indigenous and rural communities, as well as the ultra-cold storage requirements of some of the vaccine candidates.

“For our part, the federal government has already purchased freezers to work for specific vaccine candidates,” Trudeau said.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: ‘Every Canadian’ should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine next year, health official says' 1:01 Coronavirus: ‘Every Canadian’ should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine next year, health official says

Coronavirus: ‘Every Canadian’ should be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine next year, health official says

This comes on the heels of the news that Canada could see regulatory approval for a promising vaccine candidate as early as next month.

“Vaccines are on the horizon. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Trudeau.

The chief medical adviser at Health Canada, Dr. Supriya Sharma, said Thursday that Canada has “similar timelines” to the U.S. and Europe for approval of the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate could be approved in Canada next month.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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