OTTAWA —
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, are “looking forward” to receiving their first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

The pair will be heading to a local pharmacy not far from Parliament Hill for their shots at 12:45 p.m. EDT.

“If you’re eligible for your vaccine like we are, make sure you get your dose as soon as possible,” Trudeau said during a COVID-19 update briefing ahead of his shot.

Friday morning, Health Minister Patty Hajdu also received her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in her Thunder Bay, Ont. riding.

“The best vaccine for you is the one in your arm! Today was my turn to receive my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” she tweeted.

These top political figures join a growing number of federal cabinet ministers and members of Parliament in receiving their first vaccine doses.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at an Ottawa pharmacy on Wednesday, while Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has an appointment scheduled for this weekend.

“I think it’s important for Canadians to get a vaccine when they can, do your part. We’re all frustrated by the fact that Canada doesn’t have sufficient supply,” O’Toole said earlier this week. “But, it’s important when you can, get your vaccination, follow health rules, be part of us getting rid of the COVID-19 virus and getting Canadians back to work.” 

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is also looking to get her shot in Toronto where she lives, with plans being made to publicize it when she does.

On Friday, Procurement Minister Anita Anand, who has been at the helm of negotiating all of Canada’s vaccine contracts, said she is registered to receive an appointment in her Oakville, Ont. riding.

“I very much look forward to getting that call to come in and receive it,” Anand said.

Ontario and other provinces opened up their eligibility for the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults aged 40 and older following reports of doses sitting unused on pharmacy shelves. Some physicians and pharmacists have attributed this to an increased amount of vaccine hesitancy surrounding the AstraZeneca shot due to concerns over the rare risk of blood clots.

Later Friday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is planning to release updated guidance about the usage of the two-dose viral vector injection.

According to CTVNews.ca’s vaccine tracker, nearly 11.4 million Canadians have received at least one dose of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine. 

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