'All hands on deck:' city creates COVID-19 vaccine task force
With at least two vaccine candidates showing promising results, the challenge of distributing a potential vaccine for COVID-19 looms large. (AFP)
OTTAWA -- The city of Ottawa is establishing a task force to plan for the rollout of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine, as two U.S. biotech companies report promising early results from vaccine candidates.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force will develop a plan for distributing the vaccine in Ottawa, the city’s head of emergency services said in a memo to council on Monday.
“The rollout of any vaccine is expected to be a complex undertaking in the context of a global pandemic,” Anthony Di Monte said in the memo. “This Task Force will develop a comprehensive plan for vaccine distribution in Ottawa, working with key stakeholders to develop strategies for the orderly and coordinated distribution of possible vaccines.”
The task force will work with Ottawa Public Health and others, including the city’s human needs task force focused on vulnerable populations. It will also monitor developments from the federal and provincial governments, pharmaceutical companies and others, the memo said,
“This proactive work will ensure a timely and coordinated distribution plan is ready should vaccines become available in the future.”
Monday morning, U.S. company Moderna announced its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5 per cent effective, according to early data.
Last week, Pfizer Inc. said its own vaccine was 90 per cent effective.
Canada has ordered 56 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 20 million of the Pfizer vaccine. Both companies are expected to seek emergency use authorization in the U.S. within weeks.
Coun. Jeff Leiper reacted positively to the news of a task force on Monday, tweeting that “unlike testing, immunization is firmly in the City’s wheelhouse.
“All hands on deck folks: this is our Trafalgar.”