Canada is waiting to see whether President Donald Trump tries to limit its access to COVID-19 vaccines in the name of “America First.”
Trump is expected to sign an executive order today to ensure U.S. citizens are first in line for vaccine doses manufactured in the United States, but it’s unclear how much impact it will have.
Trump is under political pressure following reports the White House passed up a chance to secure 500 million extra doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, the first to be used outside a clinical trial.
“We’re very confident that Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers that are contractually obligated to deliver vaccines to Canada will be able to meet those obligations,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc in an Ottawa news conference.
“We have already assumed that we shouldn’t be tied to one particular manufacturing site, so the contracts contemplate that. Pfizer, for example, has many manufacturing facilities in Europe as well as the United States.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Trump has tried to deny medical resources to Canada as part of his protectionist “America First” doctrine.
In April, he tried to prevent U.S.-based 3M from honouring contacts with Canadian buyers of American-made N95 masks, vital in limiting the spread of the virus.
And last month, the federal Liberal government effectively blocked a U.S. effort to allow wholesalers to buy cheaper prescription drugs from north of the border.
The Canadian Press
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