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Vaccine priority list must be refined to match available doses: Tam

FILE -- Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says the priority list of people who will get vaccinated first against COVID-19 has to be refined because the initial six million doses won’t be enough to cover them all.

Dr. Theresa Tam is also worried about the impact anti-vaccination rhetoric will have on Canada’s vaccination effort which is critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic nightmare.

Tam told medical professionals at the 2020 Canadian Immunization Conference today that Canadians can expect larger numbers of doses to arrive in the spring after more vaccines are approved and production has been scaled up.

But she says the six million doses set to arrive between January and March will not be enough to vaccinate everyone on the initial priority list developed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Tam says that list, which includes people most at risk of serious illness or death and those most at risk of being exposed, is currently being refined.

She also addressed growing evidence of anti-vaccine rhetoric, appealing to experts in the medical field to use credible evidence to help influence Canadians to trust that a vaccine won’t be approved if it is not safe.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press