Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Pfizer has guaranteed delivery of at least 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per week starting later this month and lasting into early May.
Trudeau says the updated delivery schedule begins March 22 and runs to May 10. He says one million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines every seven days is “going to make a big difference.”
“No matter who you are getting through the last 12 months, it has taken strength. It has taken courage. But above all, it has taken hope,” said the Prime Minister.
“There are still many days to go in this pandemic but each one that passes, just like each person gets a vaccine, brings us closer to the better days ahead.”
The influx is more than double the 444,600 doses expected next week. That’s on top of additional vaccine deliveries from Moderna, expected to bring 846,000 doses the week of March 22.
Earlier this week, Major Gen. Dany Fortin – who is coordinating the national distribution of vaccines – announced Canada will receive the eight-million doses by the end of March, thanks mainly to an increase in weekly Pfizer deliveries.
Trudeau says provinces and territories have been updated with the new schedule so they can plan for mass vaccination sites.
He says “every dose makes a difference.”
Health Canada has approved four vaccines for use in the country – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
An update on distribution has not yet been made available for the latter.
Novavax vaccine gets rave reviews – but it’s early
Novavax reported on Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine is 96 percent effective in reducing mild, moderate, or severe disease.
In a press release, Novavax revealed the final results of its Phase 3 human trials. The data has been submitted for peer-review in a scientific journal yet.
The vaccine was slightly less effective (86 percent) in protecting against disease if people were infected with the B.1.1.7 strain of the virus, which was first detected in the UK.
That would give the vaccine an overall efficacy of 89.7 percent against the original strain of COVID-19 and the B.1.1.7 variant.
The news is welcome and significant for Canada. On February 2, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the country will start producing Novavax vaccines.
“We’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with Novavax to produce their COVID-19 vaccine at the new NRC [National Research Council] Royalmount facility in Montreal,” the PM said.
“Pending Health Canada approval, tens of millions of Novavax COVID-19 doses will be made right here at home.”
It’s unclear when, or if, Health Canada will approve the Novavax treatment.
By comparison, Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is 95 percent efficacious against COVID-19 disease, Moderna is 94 percent, and Johnson & Johnson’s is 66 percent.
The AstraZeneca vaccine showed an effectiveness of about 62 percent in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease beginning two weeks after the second required dose.
With files from The Canadian Press