Experts pour cold water on Kenney’s eyeing of provincial COVID-19 vaccine procurement

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The premier should leave the issue at that, said Dr. Lorian Hardcastle, an associate professor of health law and policy at the University of Calgary.

“I don’t see any regulatory path for Alberta to import drugs from other countries without Ottawa’s approval,” said Hardcastle.

“For a drug to be sold within Canada, it has to have Health Canada approval … it’s not clear to me at all the province could just bust onto the scene and move to the front of the line.”

And provincial approval of vaccine would prove too onerous and time-consuming, requiring expertise the province doesn’t have, she said.

For the time it took for the province to procure and test vaccines, it would be accomplished by Ottawa, said Hardcastle.

“These processes are complex, they take ages to set up and the federal government has relationships with these drug companies,” she said.

Kenney, she said, is more likely engaging in political theatre using a well-worn tactic of criticizing the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau.

“This might be more politically driven than anything,” said Hardcastle.

“But should they keep holding the federal government’s feet to the fire on (delivering vaccines)? Yes.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada has secured another 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, bringing the number acquired for this year to 80 million.

Canada’s population of 38 million will generally require two doses of vaccine.

on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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