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Pfizer vaccine deliveries accelerated, Canada expecting 5M doses by June

Last Updated Mar 30, 2021 at 2:14 pm EDT

A man walks by large posters advertising the COVID-19 vaccination campaign after getting his injection at a vaccination center that offers both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. AstraZeneca's repeated missteps in reporting vaccine data coupled with a blood clot scare could do lasting damage to the credibility of a shot that is the linchpin in the global strategy to stop the coronavirus pandemic, potentially even undermining vaccine confidence more broadly, experts say.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Pfizer is moving up the delivery date for five-million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

During a news conference Tuesday morning, Trudeau told reporters that instead of arriving later in the summer, the doses will arrive in June.

“That will bring our total from 4.6 million to 9.6 million doses for that month alone,” said Trudeau.

“Of course, that is in addition to the other doses of the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines that we’ll also get.”

Pfizer has already committed to deliveries of one million doses a week in April and May, but Trudeau says the drugmaker is accelerating shipments.

Canada’s procurement minister also provided an update on when the country could expect to see Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipments.

Anita Anand says deliveries of J&J’s vaccine should begin by the “end of April,” adding that they are still finalizing the delivery schedule with the company.

Health Canada approved J&J’s treatment in early March. One of the shots is 85 percent protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, according to a massive study that spanned three continents.

Today the country is also set to receive a shipment of 1.5-million doses of AstraZeneca from the U.S.

This comes in the wake of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advising provinces not to give the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 55 over rare blood clot concerns.

NACI chair Dr. Caroline Quach says for those over 55 – and in particular, those over 70 – the vaccine works well and doesn’t seem to have the risk of blood clots they’re seeing in younger populations in Europe.

“What we’re doing is trying to contrast the risks and benefits and so, if you have that vaccine and the person [is] having to wait for two months while COVID is ramping and you’re at risk of catching it and having complications from it, I think that taking the vaccine is the best option at this point in time,” said Quach.

On Monday, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said that those above 55 who have already received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are not at risk.

There is a new poll showing Canadians trust in this vaccine is quickly eroding, which could lead to further vaccine hesitancy with AstraZeneca.

The Prime Minister ended his remarks asking people to follow public health measures during Easter and Passover.

He says to keep your loved ones safe, now is not the time to travel.


Ontario’s Hillier still confident in mass vaccination timeline

Today marks retired Gen. Rick Hillier’s last as head of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force.

During Tuesday afternoon’s provincial update, Hillier re-affirmed his promise to vaccinate all eligible adults by the start of the summer.

“I still believe that by the first day of summer, June 20, given delivery of the vaccines, we will have a needle in the arm of every vaccine-eligible person who wants one,” said Hillier.

Vaccine supply shortages in Ontario forced York Region to close three clinics – including Canada’s Wonderland site that opened Monday.

With files from The Canadian Press

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