Still, the government official told Global News there was some uncertainty that all of these doses will actually be administered.
For the current quarter ending June 30, the official said Canada can expect to receive 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca thanks to the UN-backed initiative known as the facility. COVAX. These doses are manufactured in South Korea and “finished” in a European country.
Another million doses will come from AstraZeneca’s manufacturing facilities in the United States.
‘Demand exceeds supply’: Is Canada running out of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines?
The figure also takes into account 2.3 million doses of vaccine that arrived in Canada between January and March, 300,000 of which came from the COVAX facility in the second quarter.
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Canada was supposed to receive 1.5 million additional doses of AstraZeneca manufactured by the Serum Institute in India, but government officials say Canada will not “push” for these exports from the Serum Institute as the COVID crisis continues. -19 in India is getting worse.
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Tension is mounting over the Serum Institute, which in addition to being India’s main supplier, is also a critical supplier of COVAX, on which more than 90 countries depend, and supplies Canada with its CoviShield vaccines. The institute suspended exports in March in a bid to help the Indian government step up its vaccination campaign by opening vaccinations to all adults in the country.
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Serum has indicated that it could resume exports in June. But in the meantime, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand has said she is pushing AstraZeneca to speed up deliveries from the United States to Canada.
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For now, the announcement of 6.4 million AstraZeneca vaccines is a sigh of relief for the 1,177,205 Canadians who have only received a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine so far and who will eventually need their second injection.
In addition, 493,544 Canadians received a single dose of the CoviShield version of India’s AstraZeneca vaccine.
In the meantime, Canada’s director of public health, Dr. Theresa Tam, said on Tuesday that Health Canada was monitoring “very closely” emerging data on the safety and effectiveness of mixing different vaccines into a regimen. in two doses.
Tam said hope that “further clarification” will be available long before Canadians awaiting a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll up their sleeves.
This moment is fast approaching. Canadians started receiving doses of AstraZeneca in mid-March and AstraZeneca recommends four to 12 weeks between doses.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said the gap between doses could be extended for up to 16 weeks.
Supply is low
The provinces have not received shipments from AstraZeneca since the start of April, according to available provincial data.
Data from British Columbia shows the province is on track to administer all of the doses of AstraZeneca it has received to date. Ontario said in mid-April that it had less than 340,000 doses of AstraZeneca to administer.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been authorized by NACI for Canadians aged 30 and over.
However, some provinces such as British Columbia, which lowered the age limit to 30, had to suspend making an appointment while waiting for other deliveries. Other provinces such as Ontario and Alberta resisted lowering the age limit, citing supply issues.
Even other provinces like Quebec and New Brunswick, which have kept their age limit for AstraZeneca at 45 and 55 respectively, have warned that all doses reserved for pharmacy appointments have been forbidden.
Experts have told Global News that demand for AstraZeneca’s shot exceeds supply.
“I know there are a lot of people in the 30-40 cohort who think, ‘OK, now I’m going to figure it out’, but then the provinces are blamed for saying, ‘We just can’t do it. ‘. Kerry Bowman, professor of bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto, said in a previous interview.
“So that adds to the confusion and it’s really bad timing. … (The) NACI must have understood that AstraZeneca’s supply chain is limited. “
– With files from Global News’s David Akin, Abigail Bimman, Rachael D’Amore, Katie Dangerfield, The Canadian Press and The Associated Press
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