The prime minister was answering a question from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who was asking for a commitment that the vaccine would be free once it is developed. Canada has signed vaccine deals with multiple companies, most recently Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline in September.
“We deeply cherish our universal health-care system and that means things like lifesaving vaccines are free for Canadians,” Trudeau said.
Vaccines remain in clinical trials and development all over the world, and here in Canada researchers recently began testing whether a former tuberculosis vaccine could provide immunity against the novel coronavirus. A vaccine is not expected until at least the end of 2020, if not months later.
Trudeau’s pledge comes just days after both the BC NDP and the BC Liberals vowed to make the COVID-19 vaccine free for all British Columbians as part of their provincial election platforms. Routine vaccinations are free across Canada, and although the annual flu shot is paid for some individuals, vaccines such as the one for H1N1 swine flu was free.