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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

The Cranbrook Community Forest is good to go for mountain biking. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Snow’s done, time to hit the trails

South Country trails are good to go

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Most Read