Canada to receive 2 million doses of vaccine this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramps up deliveries – fr

Canada to receive 2 million doses of vaccine this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramps up deliveries – fr

OTTAWA – Canada is set to begin receiving more than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week as the two pharmaceutical companies ramp up shipments and begin shipping vaccines from the United States.

Pfizer and BioNTech have steadily delivered around 1 million doses from Brussels each week since mid-March, but those numbers will double over the next month before rising again in June.

This week’s doses will also be the first to arrive from Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Mich. Plant after the U.S. government previously restricted exports of vaccines to immunize its own citizens.

However, there was no immediate information on the progress of talks with the United States on providing 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 “very aggressive, especially with the supplier.”

US President Joe Biden suggested last month that the United States could share its stockpile of tens of millions of AstraZeneca vaccines, the use of which has not been approved by health officials.

Demand for the vaccine skyrocketed after several provinces lowered the eligible age for the vaccine to over 40, and Anand said Canada would receive 4 million total doses by the end of June, but the government does not have a detailed timeline of when they will actually arrive.

The doses of Pfizer-BioNTech are the only injections scheduled to arrive in Canada in the next seven days, and Moderna is expected to deliver its next shipment of more than one million doses next week.

The federal government has also not announced when it will distribute doses of Johnson and Johnson’s single-shot vaccine, after the first 300,000 injections arrived in Canada last week.

Distribution plans 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 destined for the United States.

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 previously authorized 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured at the facility, but did not believe that the Canadian doses of J&J were related to this facility.

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

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

Against this backdrop, however, some long-standing virus hotspots have braced themselves to accelerate their vaccination efforts.

Quebec and Ontario are set to lower the age of eligibility for vaccination, with the latter also planning to redirect half of its supplies to designated neighborhoods 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 administered to 13,825,476.

Nationwide, 1,128,778 people, or 3% of the population, have been fully immunized.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 3, 2021.


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