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

Steven Manchur, who lives near the proposed site of supportive housing in Central Saanich on Prosser Road, said the province has misinformed the public about the site. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich residents protest supportive housing project

BC Housing rejects claim that project will lead to more crime

Club Phoenix Fitness in Langford is the first Island business to be ordered closed by the provincial workplace closure order put into effect April 11. It will be closed until at least April 29. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
Langford gym first Island business to be closed by public health order

Workplace closure order can now close businesses with three or more COVID-19 cases

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

A sewage pipe is pulled along Niagara Street in James Bay in 2018 as part of the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment plant project. Over the next 10 years, the city will complete 78 new underground infrastructure projects, upgrading sewage, stormwater and water main pipes. (Black Press Media file photo)
Construction begins on Victoria’s 10-year pipe replacement project

78 underground infrastructure projects will cost $53.8 million

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Alex Mah of Chemainus spends a sunny day at Kin Beach reading to daughter Beatrice Mah. 3. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Vancouver Island’s mini-summer poised to fade

Cooler and damper this weekend, summer-like conditions not likely to return until late June

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Arson suspect arrested after apartment fire in Nanaimo

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Small wildfire burning in difficult terrain near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating, but confirms blaze is human-caused

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

Most Read