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Canada on track to see COVID-19 vaccine delivery double in April

Last Updated Mar 18, 2021 at 9:09 am PDT

Francesca Paceri, a registered pharmacist technician carefully fills the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at a vaccine clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada expecting at least 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in April

Federal officials say they've confirmed April delivery schedules with Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca

Deputy chief public health officer says every Canadian who wants a vaccine will hopefully get one by end of June

OTTAWA – The next month will see a significant jump in vaccine deliveries to Canada, according to federal officials who provided on Thursday an update on the roll out of doses.

The month of April alone is expected to see the number of vaccine deliveries nearly double.

By the end of this month, Canada will have received a total of 8-million vaccine doses, but by the end of April that number should be at least 15 million.

Federal health officials say they have been able to confirm April delivery schedules with Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, with 7-million shots expected next month alone.

Conversations continue with Johnson & Johnson, but we expect 10-million doses in the coming months.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo says this sets us on the right track to administer the first doses of a vaccine to every Canadian that wants one by the end of June.

“Hopefully, we will be in a spot in a few months where every Canadian will have received — if that’s what each jurisdiction is moving forward with — that one dose,” he said.

However, Canada is still not quite there yet. Federal officials have previously said all Canadians who want to get a vaccine should be able to do so by September.

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Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who heads up the country’s vaccine rollout efforts, says the federal government is staying cautious with its goals.

“We’re always subject to fluctuations in the production, and the challenges of a complicated supply chain across the world,” Fortin said.

Officials would not say how discussions are progressing with the United States in terms of gaining access to vaccines produced by our neighbour, especially around the AstraZeneca shot, where millions of doses are still sitting in storage because it hasn’t yet been approved there.

So far, just under seven per cent of Canadians have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.6 per cent have received both.

Njoo is urging all eligible Canadians to get their shots.

“You miss one hundred per cent of the shots you don’t take, so take the COVID-19 vaccine that is offered to you,” he said.

The federal government has said it is working with the provinces and territories to help them prepare for a spike in deliveries. However, getting those shots into the arms of Canadians remains a provincial responsibility.