Trudeau taps former Iraq NATO mission head to lead vaccine roll-out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tapped the former head of the NATO mission in Iraq, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, to lead the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

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, speaking on the front steps of Rideau Cottage on Friday.

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.

In anticipation of a vaccine’s arrival, the Canadian military has also been looking to buy freezers that can store a coronavirus vaccine. The government posted a request for proposal online last week seeking a supplier of the sort of ultra-low temperature portable freezer that can properly store a successful vaccine candidate.

The Canadian military has said it is preparing to help with the country’s vaccine roll-out more broadly.

More to come…

With files from Marc-André Cossette

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