In an indictment of Canada’s Covid vaccine distribution strategy, the premiers of two of the country’s provinces have turned to neighboring US states to ensure shots for essential workers like cross-border truckers and teachers.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford explored the possibility of stateside vaccinations with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday. Whitmer was reportedly open to discussing the idea further. That development came after Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said he struck a similar deal last month with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford explored the possibility of stateside vaccinations with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday. Whitmer was reportedly open to discussing the idea further. That development came after Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said he struck a similar deal last month with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

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There is no guarantee Ford’s as yet unoutlined proposal will go forward – considering Michigan is currently the worst-hit US state. The CBC reported that a “timeline on next steps was not immediately clear.” In the North Dakota-Manitoba agreement, the first of its kind between the two countries, between 2,000 and 4,000 truck drivers will be vaccinated free of cost. The scheme was later expanded to school teachers.

The cross-border overture came at a time when Canadian health authorities are debating whether to compensate for shortages of the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines by allowing people to receive two different types of Covid shots.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is monitoring a UK-based study looking at the effectiveness of the mixed-vaccine dose approach, but the results are not expected until next month. According to the latest available government figures, Canada has fully inoculated just 2.55% of its roughly 38 million population.

This mixed-dose approach would likely involve “an mRNA vaccine like a Pfizer or a Moderna, combined with an AstraZeneca which is a viral vector vaccine,” said Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, at a news conference on Wednesday.

If the vaccine mixing protocol is adopted, it would mark one more in a series of major deviations from prescribed vaccine guidelines. Canada had earlier opted to increase the interval between mRNA vaccine doses from the recommended three to four weeks to four months in order to make supplies last – with the exemption of high-risk cases. (RT)