Visitors leave from a mass vaccination clinic in Toronto on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Visitors leave from a mass vaccination clinic in Toronto on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Barring production issues, Canada on track for one vaccine dose per adult by July 1

Health Canada has approved four vaccines but deliveries of two are still in limbo

The military commander overseeing the complex logistics of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination program is almost ready to say there are enough doses coming into the country to get a first shot to all adults before Canada Day.

But Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin is still reluctant to make that declaration official, as the threat of vaccine production issues still looms large over Canada’s vaccine hopes.

Officially, Canada still says Canadians will be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

Health Canada has approved four vaccines but deliveries of two are still in limbo and Fortin said he hopes to know within “a few weeks” when the first doses of Johnson & Johnson, and the 20 million doses directly from AstraZeneca, will start to arrive.

There are however more than enough doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses coming from the Serum Institute of India, to pass the one dose per person target by the end of June.

Procurement numbers show there are 36.5 million doses confirmed to be shipped by June 30, not including any of the 20 million from AstraZeneca or 10 million from J&J.

Only people over the age of 16 can currently be vaccinated and with a population of about 31 million in that age group in Canada, the math lines up.

“If there is no disruption of vaccine delivery and there is no indication that there will be, by the end of the next quarter we will have received significant numbers of vaccines, which will allow the provinces to have in their possession, enough vaccines to administer, to vaccinate all Canadians who wish a vaccine,” he said Thursday in French at a news conference in Ottawa.

Fortin later clarified in English that is dependent on provinces continuing to delay second doses up to four months to get first doses to more people sooner. And he said it is also contingent on the supplies coming in as planned.

“I would want to stay prudent with that time frame,” he said. “I would remind you while there is no indications of disruptions or fluctuations in the production, it is a pandemic with global demand on vaccines that are produced as rapidly as possible. We are always subject to fluctuations in the production and the challenges of a complicated supply chain across the world and into this country.”

Canada’s expected deliveries in February were cut by more than two thirds when Pfizer slowed down its production in Belgium to expand its plant, and Moderna took longer than expected to ramp up production overall.

But the two companies have since caught up. Pfizer is delivering 5.5 million doses by the end of this month, 1.5 million more than required by contract. Moderna will ship 846,000 more doses next week, bringing their first quarter total to two million doses, which hits their first-quarter target.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says almost seven per cent of Canadians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 1.6 per cent have received two doses.

He says 42 per cent of Canadians over the age of 80 and 12 per cent of Canadians between 70 and 79 are now vaccinated.

“This is encouraging news,” Njoo said Thursday.

In all, Canada has received 4.7 million doses, and about 73 per cent have been administered.

Canada’s entire delivery of 444,600 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech for this week has been delivered. Next week Pfizer is shipping 1.2 million doses. Moderna’s deliveries of 846,000 doses will come in two separate shipments, one early in the week and one late in the week, said Fortin.

READ MORE: White House confirms Canada asked for vaccine help, won’t say if U.S. has agreed

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

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

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Pastor Marco Ste-Marie of Rimbey United Church has spearheaded a new project called ‘Walking Through Rimbey’ to shine a light on various agencies and non-profit organizations. Photo submitted
‘Walking Through Rimbey’ continues to gather steam

Pastor Marco Ste Marie launched the project, aimed at building community connections, earlier this year

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read