On Tuesday, April 13, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had no regrets about his government’s handling of vaccine procurement and distribution.

In terms of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 citizens, Canada is currently ranked 45th.

When asked if there were something he would consider a mistake or wish he had done sooner, Trudeau said, “No, not in terms of our vaccine rollout. Obviously, we worked extremely hard from last summer onwards to sign many different contracts with different potential vaccine makers around the world, and we were among the first countries to start getting approved vaccines into arms back in December.”

 

Despite production delays, the prime minister stated that the vaccines arrived in Canada generally in good time.

“I think it’s important to remember that vaccination alone, even being well advanced in vaccinations, doesn’t necessarily lead to an ability to ease public restrictions.”

He went on to explain that while the UK had “obviously” given out more vaccines, but “have significant restrictions and have kept them in place for quite a long time.” Trudeau said that more vaccines would have to be distributed, and the number of infections would have to decrease to ease restrictions.

Canada is becoming an “international embarrassment,” according to Erin O’Toole, the leader of the Conservative Party who has repeatedly chastised the Trudeau government for tarnishing Canada’s international image, describing the pandemic response as “slow and incompetent.”

This comes after CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that Canada now has more new COVID cases per capita than the U.S., and that the Canadian vaccine rollout is “not going well at all.”

Tapper highlighted that one out of every three Americans had their first shot in the United States, compared to less than one out of every five in Canada.

According to Canada’s chief public health officer, the number of new virus cases linked to concerning variants has doubled in the last week, with B117, first detected in the United Kingdom, “essentially replacing” pre-existing strains of the virus according to CBC.

Dr. Theresa Tam stated that these strains’ rapid acceleration is fueling a COVID revival, which is bringing more patients to the hospital with serious infections, including young people, and threatening to overburden ICUs.

“The race between the vaccine and the variants is at a critical point,” Tam spoke to reporters on Friday. “It is clear that we need stronger control to combat variants of concern that are driving rapid epidemic growth in many areas of the country.”

Canada had recorded 1,045,284 confirmed cases of COVID as of 6:10 p.m. E.T. on Friday, April 9, with 23,251 deaths, reported CBC.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that stricter measures are needed in many parts of the country to combat the virus’s third wave.

According to Trudeau, the federal government has distributed over 10.5 million doses of COVID vaccine to provinces and territories.

Trudeau said that by the end of June, Canada should have received at least 44 million vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford, according to an update on vaccine rollout.