Doug Ford and his cabinet announce flu shot campaign, COVID-19 testing in pharmacies
The Liberal government delivered the Throne Speech today in Ottawa with plans to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and fix the current economic situation. Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced his new COVID-19 plans in Huntsville, Ont.
But the premier has yet to make a response to the federal throne speech, which includes plans to continue COVID-19 support for workers and companies.
Prior to the speech, Christine Elliot, Ontario’s minister of health, said the province is launching the biggest flu immunization campaign in provincial history.
“Our government has always maintained that nothing is more important than protecting the health and wealth of the people from this province,” she said. “Since the start of this outbreak, we have taken decisive action to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”
Ford said the province so far tested more people, abut 3.5 million, than the rest of the country combined. That capability will expand as pharmacies will now administer COVID-19 tests while also provide flu shots, easing the load on the public health system.
Elliot believes the fall plan will be more effective than in previous years.
“We are prepared for the worse and our fall plan reflects that,” Elliott said. “This is another key element on our fall plan, building access capacity for testing and we are very happy Shoppers [Drug Mart], Rexall and independent pharmacies have stepped up for more test centres.”
Ford said he remains ready to move to close schools if the current trend of rising COVID-19 infections continues, relying on the chief medical officer of health’s advice.
“We’ll make that decision if we see this escalating any further,” he said.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, reading from the Throne Speech, said the Liberal government will continue to provide further emergency supports to all Canadians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the government wants to give more support to women in the economy, to help businesses overcome obstacles, to remove systemic racism, to fight climate change and to have a more resilient health care system.