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Trudeau insists vaccination effort is on track, despite Pfizer-BioNTech supply disruption | CBC News

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Despite a big short-term hole in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in the present day he is nonetheless assured the nation is on observe to vaccinate each Canadian who needs a shot by September.

“This situation with the Pfizer delay is temporary. Our vaccination objectives for the first quarter of the year, January to March, are not changing,” Trudeau stated from the steps of Rideau Cottage in the present day.

“The total number of doses committed to us is still the same,” he stated, including that “every Canadian” who needs to be vaccinated will get the shot “by September.”

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the army commander main vaccine logistics for the federal authorities, stated that Canadians ought to count on solely 50 per cent of the promised Pfizer-BioNTech doses the federal government was promised for the rest of January.

Fortin stated Canada will solely get 82 per cent of the vaccine doses it anticipated this week and no deliveries in any respect from Pfizer-BioNTech subsequent week, earlier than shipments resume within the final week of January.

Watch: Trudeau on vaccine supply challenges within the first three months of 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to questions on why Canada has obtained so few COVID-19 doses in quarter one of many vaccine rollout, and what he is doing to make sure Pfizer meets its contractual agreements with Canada. 2:29

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Fortin stated deliveries are anticipated to scale up within the first two weeks of February, including he will not have the ability to provide extra particulars about Pfizer-BioNTech shipments subsequent month till he is briefed by the corporate on Thursday.

Fortin has stated beforehand that Canada was anticipating the supply of 1.4 million Pfizer doses in February.

“Numbers are expected to go back up to what we had originally planned and Pfizer continues to tell us that they expect to be able to deliver up to four million of doses of Pfizer vaccine by the end of this quarter, so by the end of March,” he stated.

Pfizer issued a public assertion in the present day saying that the corporate is seeking to ramp up vaccine manufacturing and ship as much as two billion doses over 2021. 

“To accomplish this, certain modifications of production processes will be required,” the corporate stated. “Pfizer is scaling up manufacturing operations in our Puurs, Belgium manufacturing facility to increase  dose  availability and output and, as a result, there will be a temporary impact on some shipments until mid-February in order to quickly enable increased production volumes afterwards.”

The firm stated it anticipates that the supply disruptions will steadiness out and that it is going to be in a position to maintain its supply schedule for the primary quarter of the 12 months. 

Watch: Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says some deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech have been suspended

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin spoke to reporters Tuesday throughout a digital press briefing. 2:11

Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand stated she spent the weekend on the cellphone with Pfizer executives making the purpose that the supply schedule should return to regular as quickly as doable. 

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“We knew that we would likely need to weather challenges with supply, given complex manufacturing, unprecedented global demand and rapid acceleration to peak production,” Anand stated. “This is an evolving situation but I will continue to update Canadians as soon as I have additional information.”

Anand stated final week that whereas Pfizer’s Michigan plant is solely 220 kilometres away from the Detroit-Windsor border crossing, the vaccines being produced there have been earmarked for the American market.

Moderna is anticipated to ship one other two million doses of its vaccine over the primary three months of the 12 months. Fortin stated that deliveries of that vaccine stay on observe and Canada expects to take supply of 230,000 doses within the first week of February.

As of Jan. 14, Canada had obtained 765,100 vaccine doses. Of that complete, 588,900 have been from Pfizer-BioNTech and 176,200 have been from Moderna. 

Other promising vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, Janssen, are being reviewed by regulators at Health Canada.

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