Canada on track to receive 36.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by July

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A senior citizen receives a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in a hockey arena in Montreal on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press - image credit)
A senior citizen receives a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in a hockey arena in Montreal on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press - image credit)

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin said today that vaccine supplies have stabilized and the "ramp up" phase of the inoculation campaign is in full swing, with some 36.4 million shots now expected to arrive before the end of June.

Fortin, the military commander who leads vaccine logistics at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said that after weeks of uncertainty, the country now has firm commitments from major vaccine suppliers — and Canadians can be assured that there will be enough doses on hand to give everyone who wants a shot at least one dose by Canada Day.

Pfizer has dramatically increased the number of doses it will send to Canada after it successfully retooled its production plant in Belgium earlier this year. The company is expected to deliver 5.5 million shots to Canada by month's end. More than a million doses of that product will arrive each week for the next month, Fortin said.

Combined with 2 million shots from Moderna and 500,000 AstraZeneca shots from the Serum Institute of India, Canada is projecting a total of 8 million doses will be delivered in the first three months of this year.

Another 25 million shots from Pfizer and Moderna combined will arrive between April and June — two million more than earlier projections — along with another 1.5 million Serum-made AstraZeneca doses. Canada is also expecting 1.9 million AstraZeneca shots from COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing initiative, over this three month period.

More AstraZeneca shots and doses from Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical division, Janssen, will also be delivered in the second quarter but the exact numbers are not yet known.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that Janssen is experiencing production issues that have delayed deliveries of its one-dose product to Canada. That company has shipped roughly 4 million shots to the American market over the past two weeks.

All told, at least 36.4 million doses will be delivered to Canada by the end of June — possibly more.

Because the National Advisory Committee on Immunization amended its dosing guidance last week — the group suggested health care professionals can wait up to four months before delivering a second vaccine dose — there should be enough product in Canada to administer at least one dose to the roughly 30 million adults in Canada by the nation's birthday.