Canada secures deal with Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The prime minister has announced Canada will be getting more doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months, as the country’s incoming shipments from Moderna are cut nearly in half through the rest of April.

“Canada has now signed an agreement with Pfizer for 8 million more doses of the vaccine — this is on top of what we have already purchased,” Justin Trudeau said on Friday.

The country is set to receive 4 million additional doses in May, another 2 million in June, and 2 million more in July.

“For next month alone, this will come out to about double the Pfizer doses we were originally expecting. All told, we’ll be receiving eight million doses in May and almost 12 million in June from Pfizer alone,” Trudeau explained.

“Here’s the bottom line. More doses arriving sooner means more people getting their vaccines faster. And that means more people who are safer and more families that can breathe a sigh of relief,” he added.

The prime minister is urging Canadians to hold on, as case numbers continue to rise across many of the country’s provinces.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says in total, Canada is expected to receive 24 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine between April and June.

“That is excellent news,” she said Friday.

On the latest developments with Moderna, Anand says Canada could see additional delays over the coming months as the company increases its production capacity.

“This news is obviously very disappointing. Our government will, however, continue to bring vaccines into the country in the face of volatile supply chains,” she added.

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The Pfizer vaccine development comes as the Canadian Medical Association calls for more extraordinary measures to be brought in, with concerns that rising case counts could overwhelm hospitals and the healthcare sector.

Among other things, the CMA would like to see the federal government consider re-prioritizing its vaccine distribution strategy in order to put a “focus on areas of urgent need as opposed to the per-capita approach adopted to date.”

Meanwhile, Anand says Canada is expected to receive an initial shipment of approximately 300,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine during the week of April 27. This batch will be delivered to provinces at the beginning of May, with more substantial shipments coming later this quarter and into the summer.

“For AstraZeneca, Canada is still expected to receive 4.1 million doses from all sources by the end of June, with further deliveries in the third quarter,” she said, adding she has pressed AstraZeneca executives for more doses in the months ahead.

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