Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that Pfizer has significantly increased vaccine deliveries to Canada in June which will give the spring vaccine rollout a huge boost. Two million doses are expected “every week” of the month, Trudeau said during his weekly COVID-19 update. This is five million doses more than previously planned for the month, as Pfizer has brought forward its deliveries originally planned for late summer.
Canada is expecting one million shots of the Pfizer vaccine each week of April and May, Trudeau added. This is in addition to shipments of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, 600,000 shots of which were expected this week.
“We now have handily exceeded our promised target of six million doses delivered before April. And this week, we begin our ramp-up phase,” Trudeau noted
While expressing regret that “we won’t have the Passover and Easter celebrations we were hoping for”, the prime minister warned Canadians not to let their guard down as many parts of the country were seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. He urged Canadians to “hold on a little bit longer” as “we enter this final stretch” of the crisis.
Vaccine shipments were ramping up but variants of concern are also on the rise, he pointed out. “This is not the time to travel, avoid parties and gatherings, and keep your distance,” Trudeau warned.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada is on track to receive 44 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, meaning that all Canadians who want to receive a vaccine should be able to do so by the end of the summer.
That number will grow once Johnson & Johnson confirms its delivery schedule. The first doses of that approved vaccine will begin to arrive at the end of April, Anand noted at the weekly COVID-19 update.
“We are still finalizing the delivery schedule with Johnson & Johnson, but we have had discussions with them, including some correspondence that I was engaged in last evening, and our deliveries of J&J will be beginning at the end of April,” Anand said.
By the end of this week, Canada will have received 9.5 million approved vaccines which is way ahead of the 6 million doses projected for the first quarter, she added.