Deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine doses from two accredited vaccine makers — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are again on monitor following weeks of diminished shipments, officers from the Public Health Agency of Canada stated at the moment.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the army commander main Canada’s vaccine logistics, stated 403,650 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Canada this week. That’s the most important single supply since shipments started in December.
Fortin stated that each corporations are on monitor to fulfill their targets by delivering a complete of six million doses — 4 million from Pfizer and two million from Moderna — by the top of March.
And an up to date supply timeline launched by PHAC says Canada ought to obtain hundreds of thousands extra doses than initially anticipated between now and September.
“We’re now coming out of this period of limited supplies. It’s an abundance of supplies for spring and summer, where we can have a significant scaling-up of immunization plans in provinces,” Fortin stated.
As of final Saturday, solely 2.7 per cent of Canadians had acquired one shot of a vaccine and fewer than one per cent had acquired each doses.
Pressure on authorities
Pfizer has locked in a supply schedule for the subsequent six weeks to fulfill the end-of-March deadline. The firm plans to ship 475,000 doses subsequent week after which 444,600 per week subsequent month, in keeping with the federal authorities’s vaccine distribution tracker.
Fortin stated Moderna, which already has delivered 500,000 doses, will ship a diminished cargo of 168,000 doses subsequent week. Negotiations are nonetheless underway with Moderna on particular supply dates for the remaining 1.three million doses it is dedicated to delivering by the top of March, however they’re anticipated to reach in two shipments, Fortin stated.
WATCH | Fortin says elevated COVID-19 vaccine provide anticipated in spring
The federal authorities has come beneath intense stress from opposition politicians and different critics in latest weeks because the nation’s vaccine rollout slowed. Pfizer started decreasing shipments in January because it retooled its plant in Puurs, Belgium, in order that it may broaden its manufacturing capability. Moderna additionally has lower its shipments in latest weeks.
The delays have triggered Canada to fall behind dozens of different nations in measurements of doses administered by inhabitants, in keeping with a international vaccine monitoring database maintained by University of Oxford researchers.
Accelerated rollout schedule
The up to date timeline offered by PHAC reveals hundreds of thousands extra doses arriving between now and September than earlier projections anticipated.
It initiatives that Canada ought to have sufficient doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to totally vaccinate 14.5 million individuals by the top of June, and 42 million by the top of September. If the businesses observe by with deliveries on schedule, meaning Canada would have greater than sufficient doses to totally vaccinate the nation’s complete inhabitants by September.
Part of that enhance is because of Health Canada acknowledging that every vial of the Pfizer vaccine carries six doses, not 5. That change means extra pictures may be squeezed out of every vial — and the corporate can ship fewer vials and nonetheless meet its contractual obligations to ship a sure variety of doses to its prospects.
But the up to date quantity additionally displays latest offers Ottawa negotiated with Pfizer and Moderna to speed up deliveries.
Arianne Reza, assistant deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada, stated at the moment that negotiations led the businesses to decide to shifting up the supply of 5.1 million doses — scheduled initially to reach within the third and fourth quarters of this yr — to the second quarter between April and June.
The timeline reveals that Canada may have sufficient doses to vaccinate much more individuals — 24.5 million — by the top of June. But that calculation is predicated on an optimistic situation the place three different vaccines at the moment beneath assessment — from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax — are accredited by Health Canada and delivered on time.