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Pfizer commits at least a million vaccine doses a week to Canada into May

Last Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 9:49 am PDT

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Pfizer expected to deliver at least a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines weekly between March 22 and May 10

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says provinces, territories made aware of ramp up in deliveries

OTTAWA – Canada is expected to see another big ramp up in COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Pfizer is upping its weekly shipments starting this month.

“Based on new delivery schedules from Pfizer, I can confirm that Canada will receive at least one million Pfizer doses per week from March 22 to May 10,” Trudeau said, Friday.

“A million doses of Pfizer alone every seven days. That’s going to make a big difference,” he added.

These deliveries don’t include those regularly coming from Moderna, or the expected deliveries this spring of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca shots.

Trudeau says Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is in charge of federal vaccine distribution, has run rehearsals with the provinces to make sure they’re prepared for this ramp up of deliveries.

“There are still many days to go in this pandemic, but each one that passes — just like each person who gets a vaccine — brings us closer to the better days ahead,” the prime minister said.

This comes as several European countries have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after about 30 people out of millions who received the shot developed blood clots.

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Health Canada and the World Health Organization say the vaccine is safe and that there’s no evidence of a link here. The batches that are being used in Europe are not the same as those being shipped to Canada.

“It’s important to note that the European Medicines Agency has said there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and blood clots, and that the vaccine can continue to be used,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Related video: Health Canada assuring AstraZeneca vaccine is not same batch causing blood clots in Europe

Meanwhile, the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations may update its guidance on the AstraZeneca vaccine. Initially, it caused confusion when it countered Health Canada’s guidance and advised people 65 years and older to avoid the shot. It’s expected to now fall in line, saying it’s safe for all adults.