Michigan Plan to Dispense 500K COVID Vaccines to Canadians Rejected by Nation's Officials

A Michigan plan to dispense surplus COVID-19 vaccines to Canadians was rejected by Canadian officials, the Associated Press reported.

Inside of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in the Detroit River, they painted a white stripe where Canadians would stand along the border while healthcare workers distribute the vaccines, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens proposed.

"We're not trying to send a man to the moon here. We're using the infrastructure to accomplish a shared goal. This is a sensible, reasonable alternative to vaccines heading to the landfill," Dilkens told the Detroit Free Press.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Canada Rejects Michigan Plan to Dispense Vaccines
The Canada Border Services Agency has rejected a plan by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens to have Ontario residents line up inside the tunnel to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Above, vehicles enter the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in Detroit to travel to Canada on March 16, 2020. Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Motor vehicle travel between the countries is prohibited during the pandemic except for commercial truck traffic and workers deemed essential. Dilkens said partnering with Michigan, which has a vaccine surplus, would reduce the waiting time for Canadians who need a second shot.

But the Canada Border Services Agency told Dilkens that the tunnel clinic could disrupt travel and carry "significant security implications."

Separately, Public Health Agency of Canada warned there could be trouble if the person giving the shot reached across the tunnel's white line into Canada.

"A vaccine cannot be imported into Canadian space without the express consent of Health Canada," said Kathy Thompson, executive vice president at the agency.

More than 500,000 vaccine doses held by Michigan are set to expire by early August, said Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman at the state health department.

"It's dead," Dilkens said of his plan. "Our government will not let this happen."

Canada Rejects Michigan Plan to Dispense Vaccines
Canadian officials rejected a proposal by Michigan to dispense of surplus vaccines to Ontario citizens instead of sending them to a landfill. Above, Brooke Radner, 14, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by pharmacist Andrew Mac (right) at the Jewish Federation/JARC's offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on May 13, 2021. Jeff Kowalsky/Getty Images