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.