Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal plan to swiftly inoculate interested Canadians against COVID-19 won’t be faltered amid concerns in delays with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The company is facing production issues in Europe, sparking a temporary delay in the vaccine shipments set for Canada.

The company has assured Canadian officials it will still be able to deliver four million doses by the end of March, but Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday (Jan. 15) that this isn’t guaranteed.

“This does not impact our goal to have enough vaccines available by September for every Canadian who wants one,” Trudeau said during a news conference later in the day.

Canada has received about 380,000 doses of the vaccine so far, and was supposed to get another 400,000 this month and almost two million doses in February.

The news comes as Ottawa released federal projections that suggest the pandemic may soon exceed levels seen in the first wave, rising to 19,630 cumulative deaths and 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week.

The modelling shows total cases could grow to nearly 796,630 from about 694,000, and that another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam urged sustained vigilance as a long-range forecast suggested rapid growth would continue without “quick, strong and sustained” measures.

Tam said that’s especially so in national hot spots of Quebec and Ontario, where a steady increase in hospitalizations has strained the health system’s ability to keep up with critical care demands. The projections do not take into account Quebec’s recently implemented four-week curfew or Ontario’s new stay-at-home orders.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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