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November 30, 2020

Canadian Armed Forces to support Covid-19 vaccine distribution

The Government of Canada will make use of its military to support its Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort.

The Government of Canada will make use of its military to support its Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort.

As part of this, a senior commander and other officers from the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will spearhead the efforts.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu and National Defence Minister Harjit S Sajjan have announced major-general Dany Fortin and other staff and officers.

Fortin has been named as the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Logistics and Operations vice-president and will oversee the logistical planning.

He previously led different operations such as the Nato Mission Iraq stand-up in 2018.

In total, 27 CAF personnel, including logistics experts, operational planners, pharmacists, health care administrators, engineers, and information technology experts are assigned to the PHAC.

Covid-19 vaccine distribution is said to be a logistically complex process based on the country’s geography, ultra-cold storage requirements, as well as the distribution of the vaccines to remote and isolated communities.

CAF personnel seconded to PHAC will aid in the prediction and addressing of potential challenges.

Hajdu said: “As experts and scientists of the Government of Canada are assessing the safety of Covid-19 vaccine candidates, we are working with the provinces and territories to prepare for distribution.

“Major-general Dany Fortin’s proven leadership and unique experience are strong assets to the government’s planning efforts. When a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready.”

Earlier this month, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) called in the British Army to assist in the nationwide Covid-19 testing programme. The military will also support the country’s vaccine distribution efforts.

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