Health minister and federal health officials provide COVID-19 update – October 1, 2021

In Ottawa, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu provides an update on the federal response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. She discusses federal support for provinces and territories as they deal with the fourth wave. The minister faces questions about requests from Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia for the federal government to send doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, in the hopes that will increase vaccine uptake among individuals who have concerns about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that use mRNA technology. Hajdu is also asked about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to spend the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on vacation in Tofino, B.C., with his family.

The minister's update is followed by a virtual news conference with Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, and Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser with Health Canada. The doctors are asked about possible vaccine approval for children ages 5 to 11, an experimental COVID-19 treatment pill being developed by U.S. drug company Merck, and provinces' requests for Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
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