TORONTO – After a rocky start, Canada has been able to turn its COVID-19 vaccine situation around.
The country is expecting another 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine this week, meaning more Canadians will have access to a first dose if they want one.
The shipment is one of many. In April, Canada announced it would be getting more of Pfizer’s shots in the coming months, with 8 million more doses secured on top of what was already bought.
The latest deal means Canada is to expect 4 million additional doses of Pfizer’s drug in May, another 2 million in June, and 2 million more in July.
“For next month alone, this will come out to about double the Pfizer doses we were originally expecting. All told, we’ll be receiving eight million doses in May and almost 12 million in June from Pfizer alone,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on April 16.
Was thrilled to welcome the Pfizer delivery this evening. Each week, these deliveries bring us closer to the finish line of this pandemic. Thank you to the pilots, airline & ground crew, & @AnitaOakville who made this possible.
When it’s your turn to roll up your sleeve, do it! pic.twitter.com/vVKAoaMSIp
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) May 9, 2021
Canada also received a record shipment from Moderna last week.
As of May 10, almost 40 per cent of Canadians had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“If enough people get vaccinated and assuming vaccine rollout proceeds as planned, by mid Summer, at least 75 per cent of adults aged 18 years and older will have received the first dose,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said.
She notes we need to hit at least that 75 per cent number if we want to see a summer with fewer public health measures.
“These models give us hope, illustrating that there is a safe way to lift most restrictive public health measures by this summer if enough people get vaccinated,” she explained, adding modelling shows at least 20 per cent of the population would also have to have received their second doses.
“At this point, restrictive measures could be gradually eased as long as adequate test, trace, isolate capacity, and individual precautions are maintained.”
Canada is now one of the top countries in the G20 when it comes to vaccinations, putting 300,000 shots into arms every day — a dramatic increase compared to just a month ago. With many other countries beginning to reopen amid vaccine rollouts, Canada is keeping a close watch on these foreign situations.
Trudeau has said Canadians could once again be travelling internationally by the summer, noting Canada will align with other countries on any documents needed with some form of certification to prove vaccinations against COVID-19.
“As people start to travel again, perhaps this summer if everything goes well, it would make sense for us to align with partners around the world on some sort of proof of vaccination or vaccine certification,” said Trudeau.
“We are now working with allies, particularly in Europe, on [vaccine passports or documentation]. But ultimately it is up to every country to determine what requirements they expect from incoming travellers.”