A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. The federal government says it does not believe COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada will be affected by export restrictions being considered by the European Union. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. The federal government says it does not believe COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada will be affected by export restrictions being considered by the European Union. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID vaccine shipments to Canada won’t be affected by possible E.U. restrictions: Ng

Officials say they are on track to receive 9.5 million doses by end of March

The federal government says it does not believe COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Canada would be affected by export restrictions being considered by the European Union.

A report in the New York Times says the E.U. is finalizing emergency legislation that would give it broad powers to curb exports for the next six weeks of COVID-19 vaccines as part of its response to supply shortages at home.

The report says rules would make it harder for pharmaceutical companies producing COVID-19 vaccines in the European Union to export them.

In an emailed statement, the press secretary for Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, says Ng’s counterparts have assured her that these measures will not affect vaccine shipments to Canada.

Youmy Han says the federal government has been in constant contact with its counterparts in the E.U. and its member states at all levels of government.

She says Canada will continue to work with the E.U. and its member states to ensure that our essential health and medical supply chains remain open and resilient.

“We share the urgency of Canadians to ensure access to life-saving vaccines as rapidly as possible, and our government is operating with this sense of urgency every single day,” Han wrote late Tuesday.

“Our expected shipments of vaccines have been arriving in Canada and we are on track to receive 9.5 million doses by the end of March.”

The Canadian Press

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