After significant delays in delivers of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada advises that shipments are back on track, with four million doses still arriving by the end of March.
Major-General Dany Fortin, the vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada and head of Canada's vaccine distribution efforts, confirmed Canada received 403,650 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine this week, which are being distributed to provinces.
Next week, Canada should received 475,000 doses from Pfizer and 444,000 doses will be sent each week in March.
A shipment of 168,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine is expected to arrive next week and the remaining 1.3 million doses should be delivered in March.
"We are working with the manufacturer to confirm the exact doses, quantities and dates," Maj. Gen. Fortin said.
Between April and June, Canada should receive 23 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
The Public Health Agency of Canada anticipates that as many as 24.5 million people could be vaccinated by the end of June, based on the estimated deliveries of all vaccines procured by Canada, which would include vaccines from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, which are currently under review. The estimation dips to 14.5 million people vaccinated, based on the two vaccines already authorized in Canada.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said that although single-dose vaccinations for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are not approved in Canada, there is a high level of protection after the first dose.
"From a public health perspective, we’ve been having active discussion with our counterparts in the provinces and territories with the special advisory committee," Dr. Njoo said.
"We're getting close to the spring...when we anticipate getting many more millions of doses of vaccine. However, in the meantime, based on early data from the province and territories, what’s happened in terms of vaccine effectiveness among individuals receiving even one dose, the level of protection is very high."
Data from two Canadian doctors, Dr. Danuta Skowronski from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Dr. Gaston De Serres from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, shared in the New England Journal, suggests that based on U.S. information, there is 92 per cent effective against COVID-19 two weeks after one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.