Canada will receive 50% fewer doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine over the next four weeks due to a temporary reduction in the pharmaceutical’s production capacity.
“Let me be clear. This is a temporary delay, not a loss. The vaccines will be delivered later, ”insisted Federal Minister of Supply Anita Anand on Friday.
Major General Dany Fortin, responsible for vaccination logistics for Ottawa, said the worst of the delays would be felt in the week of January 24. The impact will be minimal for doses arriving next week since shipments were already being prepared on Friday.
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“It hurts now, but it will improve significantly during the month of February,” he said.
It is 367,000 doses per week that Pfizer was to send during that month and Ottawa anticipates that we will return to this rate before an acceleration in March.
“This news has no impact on our goal of vaccinating all Canadians who want it by next September,” insisted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage.
He and his ministers reminded him that Canada has a total of seven agreements with pharmaceutical companies that produce or develop vaccines against COVID-19.
In any event, the federal government still expects to have received from Pfizer and Moderna the six million doses planned by the end of March.
On the Quebec side, the office of the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, was reassuring.
“One thing is certain, our vaccination team is agile and ready to deal with these kinds of situations,” one said in an email.
The new developments are further believed to only “strengthen” the province’s decision to allow booster doses up to 90 days after the first inoculation.
Pfizer’s delivery delays occur because the pharmaceutical company has to temporarily reduce its production capacity. Changes are being made to its European facilities, from which the doses intended for Canada come.
“As part of normal productivity improvements to increase capacity, we need to make process and facility changes.
zAlthough this will have a temporary impact on late January and February deliveries, it will significantly increase the doses available to patients in late February and March, ”Pfizer said in a written statement.
– With the collaboration of Marc-André Gagnon, “Le Journal de Québec”