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Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Canada increasing to 2 million doses each week

Last Updated Apr 30, 2021 at 1:52 pm PDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press conference on Friday that Pfizer will be increasing its deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to two million doses a week, from the U.S., starting next week.

“This will mark another major ramp-up. We will continue to work with provinces and territories to get these doses to Canadians as quickly as possible,” Trudeau said.

Throughout the pandemic, Pfizer has been sending Canada doses from Belgium, when American plants were off-limits due to export controls put in place by the Trump administration.

But Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Pfizer will now start producing Canada’s doses from Michigan.

It’s the first time the U.S. has allowed that company’s vaccine exported north.

The production shift assures Canada’s supplies will not be hit by European export controls.

The change will not impact Canada’s planned deliveries in any way which means the country is still on track to receive 2 million doses each week in the month of May and 2.4 million a week in June.

The U.S. has started easing earlier restrictions on vaccine exports, which could signal a positive sign for the 20 million doses of AstraZeneca shots that Canada has paid for but hasn’t been able to access aside from a loan of 1.5 million shots in March.

The Ontario government has sent a letter to the Trudeau government demanding the feds impose mandatory three-day hotel quarantines for travelers entering at land crossings from the U.S.

That rule is currently only in place for all air travel. The province says there are reports of international travelers booking return flights into nearby American airports and driving across the border to avoid Canada’s mandatory hotel quarantine for air travel.

Trudeau defended the current system, saying there are very strict measures, on top of what the U.S already has in place, around testing for people who fly into their country.

While he appears to dismiss the request he says the feds will work with Ontario to possibly suspend international students from arriving.

Trudeau says Ontario is the only province making the request.

He also acknowledged that Alberta’s case count on Thursday was the worst since the beginning of the pandemic and adds the federal government stands ready to help them if needed.

Canada has administered 13,313,681 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday.