Delay in Pfizer vaccines reduces supply in half for four weeks

·2 min read

Canada’s supply of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has been hit with a temporary delay.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand made the announcement on Jan. 15. It was also announced shipments over the next four weeks will be reduced by an average of 50 percent, added Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine logistics.

“This expansion work means Pfizer is temporarily reducing deliveries to all countries receiving vaccine manufactured at its European facility – and that includes Canada,” said Anand.

Despite the delay, Anand said this is a temporary delay, and Canada remains on track to have enough approved vaccines for everyone who wishes to be vaccinated by the end of September 2021.

To date, Canada has received approximately 380,000 vaccines and was on track to double the number by the end of the month.

However, those deliveries are no longer guaranteed. Anand said he was optimistic Pfizer would be able to catch up after this delay as the delay is happening so Pfizer can boost its manufacturing capacity.

“Pfizer believes that by the end of March, it will be able to catch up – such that we will be on track for the total committed doses for Q1,” she explained.

Both Fortin and Anand said Pfizer pledged to start ramping up its delivery schedule once again in February.

“As I said earlier, this is a temporary situation, and it does not impact our government’s goal of having enough approved vaccines for every Canadian that wants to be vaccinated by the end of this coming September.”

Also announced was an additional 20 million Pfizer doses, which Canada had secured this week, will still be arriving during Q2, as previously promised.

According to Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, it was very clear that Canada is still correct in planning assumptions to receive approximately 4 million doses of Pfizer by Mar. 31, for a total of 6 million doses of both Health Canada-approved vaccines.

As of Jan. 14, more than 20 million COVID-19 tests have been done in Canada. Of those tests, there have been more than 694,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 17,000 deaths. The numbers reported also show more than 490,000 vaccinated while more than 600,000 recovered.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News