The per capita boast

Over the course of five Question Periods, from October 30 through November 4, three cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister combined to assure the House on 20 separate occasions that Canada had the highest per capita supply of H1N1 vaccine.

On Thursday though, the official opposition countered that Australia was ahead of Canada on that count. Asked for evidence, they pointed to this press release from the Australian Minister for Health and Aging. That release, dated Sept. 30, states that Australian authorities had distributed 5.5 million doses of the vaccine for a population of 22 million people—covering 25% of the population. Canada, by last week, had distributed six million doses for 33 million people—covering 18.2% of the population.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s office was asked last week to supply the data that supports the government’s claim. They have not yet passed on such information. When they do, it will be posted here. In the latest response, received yesterday, the minister’s director of communications said the department was “having some issues releasing this as some is confidential information.”

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