Canada has taken supply of its first cargo of COVID-19 vaccines from the worldwide vaccine-sharing initiative often called COVAX.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the army commander main Canada’s nationwide vaccine distribution effort, advised a technical briefing on the vaccine rollout in the present day that about 317,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine procured via COVAX arrived in Canada this morning.
The doses have been manufactured by South Korean pharmaceutical firm SK Bioscience, which has been contracted to make the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Canada has contributed $440 million to the COVAX facility, an initiative backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations geared toward guaranteeing equitable entry to vaccines.
Half of Canada’s contribution goes towards buying vaccine doses for much less developed international locations, whereas the opposite half bought doses for Canadians. Canada expects to obtain roughly 1.6 million extra doses via COVAX by the tip of June.
Canada has been extensively criticized for taking doses from the initiative. It is the one G7 nation anticipated to attract from the vaccine provide in this system’s first allotment — though a couple of different rich international locations, corresponding to New Zealand and Singapore, are additionally doing so. The overwhelming majority of COVAX doses are going to lower- and middle-income international locations.
COVAX has delivered 38 million vaccine doses to over 100 economies since making its first worldwide supply to Ghana in late February, the WHO mentioned in a press launch in the present day.
10.5 million doses delivered, Fortin says
Fortin mentioned the federal authorities has distributed over 10.5 million doses of the permitted Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines to the provinces and territories as of in the present day. He maintained that every one adults who need to obtain a vaccine ought to get their first doses by summer season or early fall.
“The projections we have shared to date are very positive and would lead one to believe that if those deliveries occur as planned [and] without any delay or significant delay, provinces and territories will be in a position to vaccinate all Canadians … the adult population, in time for summer to early fall,” mentioned Fortin.
“If provinces and territories adhere to a four-month interval and the flow of vaccines, as I indicated, is positive or remains the same … I can’t see why we wouldn’t be able to accelerate that.”
Deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have largely stabilized. Pfizer expects to ship one million doses every week in April and May earlier than ramping as much as two million per week in June, for a complete of greater than 17 million doses by the tip of June.
Moderna is ready to ship 855,600 doses subsequent week and 1,202,400 within the final week of April. A backlog in Moderna’s high quality assurance course of seems to have delayed these shipments by a number of days, though Fortin mentioned it is potential they’re going to arrive earlier.
Still no supply schedule for J&J vaccine
Federal officers nonetheless haven’t got a supply schedule for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine past an expectation that the primary cargo will arrive someday in late April. Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine obtained Health Canada’s approval a month in the past and Canada has pre-ordered 10 million doses.
As for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, 1.four million doses from the United States have been delivered final Saturday to provinces. The remaining 100,000 from a mortgage of 1.5 million from the U.S. will arrive this week, Fortin mentioned.
Another million AstraZeneca doses from the U.S. are anticipated by the tip of June, mentioned Joelle Paquette, a high official with Public Services and Procurement Canada.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo mentioned greater than seven million doses have been administered throughout the nation.
Eighty-one per cent of individuals 80 years of age or older have obtained their first doses and 10 per cent have obtained their second doses, Njoo mentioned. Among these 70 to 79 years of age, 53 per cent have obtained their first dose and two per cent have obtained their second.