A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination is prepared in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination is prepared in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada to receive 2M vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramp up deliveries

The push for more shots comes as many parts of the country remain in lockdown

Canada is set to begin receiving more than two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week as the two pharmaceutical firms ramp up their deliveries and begin shipping shots from the United States.

Pfizer and BioNTech have been consistently delivering around one million doses from Brussels each week since mid-March, but those numbers will double over the next month before increasing further in June.

This week’s doses will also be the first to arrive from Pfizer’s plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., after the U.S. government previously restricted vaccine exports to inoculate its own citizens.

There was no immediate word, however, on progress in talks with the U.S. over the provision of more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is in high demand across the country.

Federal Public Service and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday that Ottawa was “being very aggressive, especially with the supplier.”

U.S. President Joe Biden suggested last month that the U.S. could share its stockpile of tens of millions of AstraZeneca shots, which health officials there have not approved for use.

Demand for the shot has skyrocketed after several provinces dropped the eligible age for the vaccine to 40-plus, and Anand has said Canada will receive four million total doses by the end of June, but the government does not have a detailed schedule of when they will actually arrive.

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses are the only shots scheduled for arrival in Canada over the next seven days, with Moderna slated to deliver its next shipment of more than one million doses next week.

The feds also haven’t said when they will release doses of the single-shot vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, after the first 300,000 jabs arrived in Canada last week.

Plans to distribute them are now on hold after Health Canada learned some of them were manufactured at a Maryland facility that botched part of the production process for 15 million doses bound for the U.S.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration recently cited the facility for violations including cleaning and sterilization failures, the potential for cross-contamination and failure to follow required protocols.

Health Canada had already cleared 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made at the facility, but did not think the Canadian J&J doses had any connection to that plant.

Now Health Canada says the drug substance that makes up part of the J&J vaccine was actually produced there and then shipped elsewhere for the vaccines to be finished.

The push for more shots comes as many parts of the country remain in lockdown while a third wave of COVID-19 infections, exacerbated by numerous variants of the novel coronavirus, rages across Canada.

Against that backdrop, however, some long-standing virus hot spots prepared to accelerate their immunization efforts.

Both Quebec and Ontario are set to lower the age of eligibility for vaccination, with the latter province also planning to redirect half its supplies to designated neighbourhoods with high infection rates over the next two weeks.

More than 173,000 new vaccinations were reported across the country on Saturday, bringing the total number of doses given to 13,825,476.

Nationwide, 1,128,778 people or 3 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Amy Newman follows the route of the Cariboo Waggon Road — now Highway 97 — through Clinton. (Photo credit: New Pathways to Gold Society)
Grant received for Cariboo Waggon Road restoration project north of Clinton

New Pathways to Gold hopes to start work this summer on restoring sections of historic road

Dan Cumming (l, with Lisa Colwell, LPN) was one of 1,918 people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine at a community clinic in Ashcroft in early May. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Vaccine clinics in Ashcroft, Clinton administered 2,664 first doses

Residents over the age of 18 are still eligible to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine

(from l) Ashcroft councillor Deb Tuohey, mayor Barbara Roden, and councillor Nadine Davenport at the opening of Ashcroft’s new water treatment plant in November 2019. At a recent town hall meeting, council said there are no immediate plans to install water meters in the village. (Photo credit: Christopher Roden)
Ashcroft homeowners face 2.5 per cent property tax bump in 2021

Village is moving ahead with variety of projects, but water metering not on the list of priorities

(from l) Cache Creek councillor Annette Pittman, mayor Santo Talarico, and councillors Wendy Coomber and Sue Peters at a budget meeting, May 7, 2021. (Photo credit: Facebook)
Cache Creek budget bylaws pass with one councillor opposed

Annette Pittman cites several reasons for voting against 30% tax increase and pool closure

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Most Read