(ET) Thanks to the ongoing work of Canadian Armed Forces personnel and several other federal, provincial, municipal authorities, every eligible person in Canada now has access to the COVID-19 vaccine. That means you can get both doses about two months ahead of schedule.
To explain how Canada’s Vaccine Rollout Task Force was able to accomplish this, we're fortunate to be joined today by its Vice-President of Logistics and Operations, Brigadier-General Krista Brodie.
Thank you so much for joining us today, General Brodie.
First, congratulations on meeting the mark two months early, and I'm wondering what were some of the key-contributing factors that helped lead to the success of Canada's initial vaccine rollout?
(KB) Thank you. I have to say first and foremost, it was just the diversity, the ingenuity, the sheer tenacity of the team and the unprecedented level of collaboration. It really was a tremendous group where they brought together their individual expertise, but out of that arose this collective ingenuity where they really did “MacGyver” into being a very sophisticated Canadian cold chain enterprise to deliver COVID-19 vaccines where no infrastructure for that had previously existed, for a commodity of vaccine that had not previously existed.
(ET) Are there any other challenges that were faced that might not be so visible, that happened behind the scenes you'd like to share with everybody?
(KB) There are certainly kind of the fog of war practical tactical operational-level frictions on a day-to-day basis. So whether it was the hurdles associated with overcoming how we were actually going to guarantee the temperature of the vaccines at every component of the distribution channel as they moved from the manufacturer, as they were flowing in from Europe or later from the United States.
(ET) The next question I have is, you know, why was it so important for the Canadian Armed Forces to get involved in this initiative to help the federal, municipal and provincial governments roll out the vaccine and support this national endeavour?
(KB) Because it speaks to our core business as the Canadian Armed Forces. We have an obligation, a mandate, a role to support Canada and Canadians in time of crisis. That sense of calling and vocation, I think, is also an important dimension of how we serve as members of the CAF. But what I will say, as I came into the Public Health Agency of Canada, I very quickly realized that we do not have a monopoly on that sense of serving the common good, that there are public servants and there are Canadians, far and wide, that are really motivated by a sense of being able to contribute to the common good and to be able to work in concert with a team that was so compelled to be able to deliver this operational effect in this time was really an extraordinary experience.