A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination is prepared in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination is prepared in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canada to receive 2M vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramp up deliveries

The push for more shots comes as many parts of the country remain in lockdown

Canada is set to begin receiving more than two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week as the two pharmaceutical firms ramp up their deliveries and begin shipping shots from the United States.

Pfizer and BioNTech have been consistently delivering around one million doses from Brussels each week since mid-March, but those numbers will double over the next month before increasing further in June.

This week’s doses will also be the first to arrive from Pfizer’s plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., after the U.S. government previously restricted vaccine exports to inoculate its own citizens.

There was no immediate word, however, on progress in talks with the U.S. over the provision of 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 “being very aggressive, especially with the supplier.”

U.S. President Joe Biden suggested last month that the U.S. could share its stockpile of tens of millions of AstraZeneca shots, which health officials there have not approved for use.

Demand for the shot has skyrocketed after several provinces dropped the eligible age for the vaccine to 40-plus, and Anand has said Canada will receive four million total doses by the end of June, but the government does not have a detailed schedule of when they will actually arrive.

The Pfizer-BioNTech doses are the only shots scheduled for arrival in Canada over the next seven days, with Moderna slated to deliver its next shipment of more than one million doses next week.

The feds also haven’t said when they will release doses of the single-shot vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, after the first 300,000 jabs arrived in Canada last week.

Plans to distribute them 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 bound for the U.S.

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 already cleared 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made at the facility, but did not think the Canadian J&J doses had any connection to that plant.

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

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

Against that backdrop, however, some long-standing virus hot spots prepared to accelerate their immunization efforts.

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

Nationwide, 1,128,778 people or 3 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Most Read