They were late on account of they were early -

They were late on account of they were early


From today’s Globe:

Fewer than half of the available doses of H1N1 vaccine have been administered to Canadians, leaving millions of vials in warehouses or health-unit fridges across the country while people anxiously wait for their shots.

By the end of the week, 6.5 million doses of vaccines will be in circulation, with at least 1.8 million to come next week, according to federal officials.

However, numbers compiled from government sources show that provincial authorities have so far injected fewer than three million doses, or less than half of the available supply.

While blame for the lack of progress in getting needles into arms has fallen on everyone from the federal government to the provinces and the vaccine maker, public health officials said yesterday that the provinces weren’t ready because they thought Ottawa’s approval process would go more slowly.

Perry Kendall, British Columbia’s public health officer, said delivery of the shots is lagging because of Ottawa’s quicker than expected approval of the H1N1 vaccine. The infrastructure for administering the inoculations, which includes volunteers and vaccinators, was ready to begin rolling on Nov. 9, but Health Canada gave its approval the week of Oct. 26.

So there you have it: the reason for the flu-shot lineups is not that the federal government was slow to order the vaccines, but because the feds moved too quickly for the provinces. More doses delivered, faster, would have only meant bigger stockpiles in provincial warehouses — according to provincial officials.

And that’s about all we’ll be hearing about that.

Filed under:

They were late on account of they were early

  1. One important route for vaccine delivery has been thrwarted by Liberals in Ontario:

  2. WOW! 3 million that means we have already vaccinated close to 10% of our entire population ahead of schedule, if we keep going like this we will be finshed and rolled up well before xmas – and my boy Stevie will no doubt wish canadians a very merry xmas and harper hating heads will be exploding accross canada – how much you want to bet you will never see that headline in any of our media – makes a person wonder ..

  3. wait a sec I might be wrong what is our pop right now 38 mill or 48 mill in either event we are on a roll people … go baby go

    • According to Statistics Canada, our population will reach 34,000,000 in a few months.

      • According to certain commenters, Harper's evil and-or incompetence, failing to roll out earlier-ordered double-producer vaccine means we'll hit 34,000,000 in a few months plus 24.7 seconds.

  4. "And that's about all we'll be hearing about that."

    Of course it is. Otherwise msm might have to start reporting on our health care system and we can't have that. It is much easier to pretend this is aberration and make it seem like Cons are purposefully trying to kill the weak and lame.

    I would also like to read some articles on why so many of these clinics are only open 3-4 hours per day. Do we have idle people working these clinics or is there something stopping them from working more than 3 hour shifts?

  5. Yeesh, reading that Tory toady Coyne, you'd almost get the impression that Canada is a federation, instead of the unitary state that the Liberal Party of Canada seems to think it is.

  6. "And that's about all we'll be hearing about that."

    Oh good. That means Coyne will stop talking, right?

    • No, it means Body Bag Bob will stop talking, accusing Harper of being responsible for flu deaths.

      The Harper government delivered the vaccine 2 weeks early and more than twice as much as the Provinces could administer,
      so the Liberals and Dippers can shut up now.

      On to the next shiny thing for the media to gulp up and the Liberals to screw up.

      • Um, no, we won't shut up. We will continue to hold the Harper Conservatives responsible for putting the lives of Canadians at risk because of their total incompetence.

  7. I'm sure Coyne's being obtuse. If indeed the Feds were too early, Alberta wouldn't have shut down their program and cities across Ontario wouldn't have run out. Someone should go take a look at these massive storage facilities, and better yet, find out if there are Economic Action Plan sigs outside of them.

    • Ontario ran out! Oh my god all those people got arms full of sugar water today!

      • As of last Tuesday, Ontario had only administered 300k shots,
        still had 1.8 million in the cooler.
        The week end Alberta shut down clinics, they still had nearly half the vaccine still in the cooler.

        NO province ran out of vaccine.
        That was a lie, likely a Liberal lie.

    • The issue isn't that they had planned for November delivery, *like every year*, in what might be described as a laissez faire approach to pandemic response. The issue would appear to be that the feds did not take this seriously enough in order to justifying, in their minds, *advancing* the delivery date. Indeed, Canada ordered its supply two months after other major countries including the U.S. Why? WHY?

      Given the federal stance, provincial health care officials planned for November. Happily some supply was available earlier than that, and a good thing too as the incidence of infection was growing much more rapidly and much earlier than the standard flu. Based on the experience of Mexico and southern hemisphere countries, a more rapid ramp up was in fact expected by many experts.

      But delivery should have been September delivery all along, and had that been the case, provincial delivery mechanisms could have planned and acted accordingly.

      Yup, let's let the Health Minister off the hook for planning an *as usual* delivery date.

      • September now is it. Once in the last 26 years the flu season has peaked in November, majority of times have been much later, February

        This is the kind of info that would have been available when they were making the decision about timing.

      • Canada ordered its supply two months after other major countries including the U.S. Why? WHY?

        You're not telling the whole story. For example, the UK ordered their vaccine earlier than Canada, but only got around to approving it about a month later. In other words, the vaccine sat in a warehouse, waiting for gov't approval. What good does that do? And can you imagine if the government rejected the vaccine as dangerous, after buying it?

        It would be a much fairer comparison to say country X vaccinated its population earlier than Canada, but the whole "they ordered it before us" argument is only one part of the puzzle. You're not telling the whole story.

      • Did the US order the Live virus vaccine first? That was the only one that was available for a few weeks before the GSK one was approved. And of course the live virus nasal spray couldnt be used by anyone in the high risk group.

        I am just curious why none of the other aprticipants in the planning got upset about the timing, not one provincial health min, not one Deputy Minister.

        So are all these guys thicker than you?

    • On CBC (so it is godspeak to a Liberal) tonite, reported 20,
      only 20 countries on the entire planet have their vaccination programs into full swing, Canada is one of those 20 countries.
      There was also a reminder on CBC that 4000 Canadians die every year from the flu,
      when this swine flu is over, the toll in lives will be appox 300.

      The media and Liberals better get a grip on reality here,
      they are responsible for unneccesary panic, just to score points against Harper.

  8. “And that’s about all we’ll be hearing about that.”

    You seriously underestimate the shameless tenacity of some of us AC.
    ” Seems we were paddling in the wrong direction boys. All together now – switch direction NOW! Too quick! the govt was too Quick. For shame”!

  9. The whole manufactured controversy was pure opposition politics. Opportunism at its worst.

    • Politicians practice politics. Shocking, I know.

      But that doesn't excuse the confused messaging from agencies and the media.
      Panic ! Don't Panic ! You get two choices. Choose three of the two. And we'll be back

      • Body Bag Bob accusing Harper of being responsible for flu deaths was not a confused message.
        Hedy Fry's body bag 10% to First Nations was not a confused message.
        Caroline Bennett's screaming in QP was bizzare.

        • Yes, and I remember that Liberals weren't too happy when Jack Layton accused Paul Martin of being guilty of murder because of lack of funding for the homeless, etc. But hey, I guess they picked this tactic up from Jack.

          • Keep up the good work Bob Rae.

  10. Has anyone noticed a distinct Iggy absence in all of this. Is he off being retooled by Donolo or too ashamed to be wallowing in this.

    I suspect Coyne is crafting a fusilade of fulmination on this for tonights At Issue.

    • That's right — Carolyn Bennett is the new, warm, fuzzy face of the Liberal Party.

      Wait, scratch that . . .

    • No more present or absent than the Prime Minster over the last week.

  11. Hmmm… whenever has any CPC member actually said, "We delivered the vaccines weeks early".

    If there was any expeditious approvals it was the bureaucracy, not the CPC, else they'd already be crowing credit.

    • If the Liberals want to hold the CPC and Harper personally responsible for the vaccine "shortage," then shouldn't they be giving him full credit when the vaccine is properly administered?

      Otherwise, your logic is the CPC gets all the blame when something goes wrong, and none of the credit (praise bureaucrats!) when things go right.

      • What? The PCs are actually poking people in the arm? They want credit for that too?

        • There hasn't been a federal PC in Canada since 2003.

          • Forgive me for your obtuse misunderstanding not available from threading and context.

  12. Fair nuff…but his group sure behaves differently, both good and bad, when he isnt there.

    Of course the PM was there today sans Iggy

    • Maybe if Harper and Iffy take turns being absent in QP, the children will start playing nice together.

  13. If you ask they'll give you used syringe with the Conservative logo on it.

  14. I'm sure there will be a lot of commenters who figure out a way to blame the existence of the flu on the Conservative party.

  15. It *IS* the swine flu. badump!

    • Not bad, that joke! :-)

  16. I can’t believe some of the crap that’s being peddled here [ not excusing myself ]
    What i want o know is could/should the govt/health authorities have got innoculations going earlier? Given what happened in Mexico is it unreasonable to assume some urgency was needed, or is this as realistically urgent as we cold hope for given the scale of the project. I’ve spent the better part of this week at home with my 8yr old. She’s missed her window for innoculation, and will have to wait until she’s symtom free. A second wave is expected so hopefuly she will get a shot before that hits around here. The defence of the govt’s response, along with smug little rejoinders that it was/is nothing at all are disingenuous. It could have been much, much worse. It may still prove to be yet. Lots of folks in this northern community probably had their shots too late in all likelihood if it had been really serious.

    • You don't think it is important to ensure that the people giving out the inoculations (and the people working in the office with them) get vaccines before they start inoculating the public?

      • No doubt.

    • Urgency: ordering MORE than one dose per Canadian.

      Urgency: ordering a second type of vaccine for a category of people initially thought to be unsuitable for the first type, so that all may be covered.

      Urgency: PR campaign attempting to convince everyone to get the shot.

      Urgency: approving the vaccine BEFORE anticipated delivery to permit as swift a rollout as possible.

      • You miss my point. Given that many folks are only now receiving their shots was the planned start date for innoculations too late, accepting AC's point about the feds delivering early. Good. Now was it possible to get going earlier?

        • kcm, unquestionably we all (well, now, anyways) would have liked to get the shot by end-August, or why not shoot for the moon, two days after the first reported Mexican death.

          We can even look back on all this in 2010 to learn about how to cut any snags that may have cropped up, for next time.

          But I watch and read the same news as everyone else, and Ottawa had quite the sense of urgency, and appropriately so, since a ways back. Just look back to how they had to put out the PR push to get us off our reluctant posteriors to even accept the vaccine.

          • I realise i may simply be expecting perfection in an inperfect world. Hopefuly we'll learn something from this, next time we may not have the luxury.

  17. The only person on this thread who's even remotely attempted to even ask let alone answer some of my questions is the commenter Pass the Pork. I see he/she got jumped right away by a couple of "detail" boys, who answered everything except the issue raised: Should we have moved the timeline for innoculation up – if at all possible.

  18. This has already been adequately covered on your other thread on the topic, but as you are repeating the same untenable argument here, I am obliged to repeat the same points in response. Firstly, if you want to fight against a pandemic flu, and you know that the flu season starts in October, you should plan to have flu vaccine in people's arms in October, particularly those who are the most vulnerable. You should not, on the contrary, plan to complete your vaccination program in December, by which time the health system may well already be overwhelmed with people on ventilators in ICU's. Secondly, it is up to the federal government, as the only jurisdiction which covers the whole of Canada, to provide leadership on this issue. In both cases, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has utterly failed. The Opposition has been raising this issue in the House of Commons for months. The Harper Conservative government repeated over and over again that the measures they had in place were adequate. They are demonstrably not adequate. This is the fault of Stephen Harper and his government. Period.

    • Right. Although it would be fair to concede that no-one else has managed to plan that far ahead either – or am i mistaken? And the other question is was it realistically possible to move things up to early October?

      • Whether anybody else made the necessary arrangements or not is irrelevant. The question is : what did our federal government do to protect Canadians ? Also, it was certainly realistic to move things up to early October. However, the decision was taken by Harper's Conservative government to give priority to production of the seasonal flu vaccine with their single source supplier. As with all cockups, there are many layers to this.

        • I'm no longer so inclined to just blame Harper as yourself. Presumably he was operating on the best available advise. If no-one else could pull this off than maybe there is a reasonable explanation? We'll see i guess. But i do note that your one of the few posters here to be askng why not earlier? And yet the whole arguement has swirled around who ordered what and where or when. No wonder many ordinary folks are confused.

          • He can rely on the all the advice he wants, but it doesn't get him off the hook – the buck stops with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the total failure of his leadership concerning preparations to protect Canadians from H1N1.

            Another thing : only those with a colonial mentality (the colonized, not the colonizers) would care what other countries are doing and when. I couldn't give a flying fandangle how lame other countries are in their preparations. All I care about is whether we Canadians are the best we could possibly have been in protecting ourselves against this pandemic, which was declared by the World Health Organization on 11 June 2009. Clearly, we were not. The Harper Conservative government is to blame.

    • Talk about completely missing the point.

      • Yes, you do.

    • Keep pushing the Liberal lies, it makes you look so smart!

      • Don't you have some polls to comment on or something ?

  19. hmmm, maybe it's a sign that people shouldn't be injecting themselves with this fluid.

  20. Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews begs to differ, Mr. Coyne.

    In other reports, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health also denied the warehousing story.

  21. "And that's about all we'll be hearing about that."

    Such arrogance.

  22. Indeedy. All the questions that need to be asked here are about organisational structures, operational efficiencies and logisitics, subjects well outside the average politician's or journalist's range of interest. Much simpler and more satisfying to blame the top guy and leave it at that.

    • The buck stops with Stephen Harper. If he doesn't want the responsibility of being Prime Minister, he should step down immediately. Perhaps Prentice would do a better job. He couldn't do a worse one, in any case.

  23. And the Liberal lies are uncovered yet again! What's next Liberals?

  24. Thanks for making it clear you've never handled an inventory.

    • What?

  25. Andrew, are you implying that the provinces didn't when the vaccines would be rolled out? Is guess work now the standard governmental practice?

  26. Andrew, thanks for clearing this up. I was wondering why it is that Ontario had run out of vaccine. I guess it's because they aren't injecting fast enough.


  27. Oh there you are Andrew. I was wondering where the official cheerleader for Stephen Harper's inept government was. Make sure to get in on some of that municipal-sponsored smorgasborg next time you're at an infrastructure announcement near you.

  28. From the Globe and Mail story above the fold this morning entitled "Canada needs two vaccine suppliers, Ottawa admits" :

    ""There is no debate. We all feel that when the time will come to renegotiate, we will go to tenders on a two-part contract to ensure maximum flexibility," said a senior official who has been working directly on the file.

    While the Harper government has applauded GlaxoSmithKline Inc. for making more than 6 million doses so far at its facility in Ste-Foy, Que., a number of officials involved in the crisis said Canada deserves a second producer in the future.

    Had that been the case this time, one manufacturer could have worked on the production of vaccines with the adjuvant additive, while the other one could have produced non-adjuvanted vaccines for pregnant women.

    GSK was forced to make changes to its production line in mid-course, which caused delays in the delivery of vaccines to the provinces. "

    So you see, the Harper Conservative government totally botched delivery of the H1N1 vaccine, causing bottlenecks due to delays in getting the vaccines to the provinces which of course couldn't inject every single vaccine in people's arms all in one instant.

    And that's about all we'll be hearing about that.

    • You are about as convincing as a spam email pitching cut-rate Viagra.

    • So if the provinces had less time they would have been more prepared……?