By the end of this week, Canada will have received about 9.5 million doses of approved vaccines from three manufacturers, well ahead of the six million doses the federal government had projected to receive in the first quarter of this year, said the minister of public services and procurement.
Another 3.2 million doses are arriving this week, said Minister Anita Anand during a morning press conference, and the work to accelerate the delivery of doses continues every day.
Pfizer Biotech is accelerating deliveries to Canada, she said, with another five million doses expected to arrive in June. Canada will receive at least one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine every week until the end of May, and in June, that will be two million doses a week every week.
“Canada was among the first countries in the world to sign a deal with Pfizer, and we have worked constructively with them and all suppliers to ensure a stable supply of vaccines for our country,” said Anand.
Originally, the federal government had contemplated eight million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the second quarter alone, but now, due to “successive negotiations” with Pfizer, Canada is set to receive close to 18 million doses of the vaccine by the end of June, “meaning millions more additional doses available to Canadians by the first days of summer,” said Anand.
Furthermore, 1.5 million doses of the AtraZeneca vaccine were loaded onto trucks in the U.S. this morning, en route to Canada, and the federal government expects 4.4 million doses before the end of June.
“Canada is now on track to receive at least 44 million doses of vaccine from the three suppliers by the end of June, and having more than enough to ensure every Canadian who wishes to be vaccinated will be fully vaccinated by the end of summer,” Anand said.
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam addressed Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recommendation to pause the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine on those under the age of 55 because of safety concerns.
Tam said Health Canada issued a statement on Monday in response to additional cases of a rare type of blood clot which occurred following the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine in several European countries.
To date, no cases have been reported in Canada.
“Nevertheless, as the data on additional cases could change the risk benefits assessment, Health Canada has put in place additional terms and conditions on the authorization of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, and (NACI) has recommended a pause on using the AstraZeneca vaccine on those 55 years of age or younger pending a full risk assessment,” said Tam.