Two vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sit on a table at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Halifax on May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Two vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sit on a table at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Halifax on May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Canada to receive 2.9M vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech increase deliveries

Firms expected to deliver about 400,000 more doses a week than what was typical last month

Canada is set to receive 2.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week thanks in large part to an increase in planned deliveries from Pfizer and BioNTech.

The two pharmaceutical companies had been delivering about 2 million shots per week through the month of May, but will increase that to 2.4 million doses per week starting on Monday.

The federal government says the other 500,000 shots due to arrive this week will come from Moderna, which will deliver the jabs in two separate shipments.

The first will arrive in the middle of the week while the second is due for delivery next weekend, with the doses set for distribution to provinces and territories next week.

The government is also expecting another 1 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of June, though a detailed delivery schedule has not been confirmed.

The fate of more than 300,000 shots from Johnson and Johnson that were first delivered in April remains unclear as Health Canada continues reviewing their safety following concerns about possible tainting at a Baltimore production facility.

The arrival of more Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots comes after Health Canada’s Saturday decision to extend the expiry date of tens of thousands of AstraZeneca doses by one month. Many Canadians had been scrambling to get a second shot before the original best-by date of May 31.

The department stressed in a statement that the move was supported by ample scientific evidence.

News of the extension came as pharmacists and physicians in Ontario planned to work through the weekend to use up 45,000 shots expiring on May 31 and 10,000 more with a best-before date in June.

Any injections formerly set to expire on Monday can now be used until July 1, according to Health Canada’s new guidance.

Some provinces have paused their use of the vaccine over supply issues and concerns around a rare but deadly blood clotting disorder linked to the shots.

There were just over two dozen confirmed cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, also known as VITT, in Canada as of last Thursday, with another 14 under investigation.

Five people had died of the condition, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.

Ontario resumed the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for second doses this past week, citing evidence that the likelihood of developing the condition is even lower after the follow-up shot than it is after the first injection.

As of Sunday night, provinces reported administering more than 23 million doses, with more than half the population having received at least one shot. Nearly 2 million Canadians, or about five per cent of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

—Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Survey show only 20 per cent of workers want to return to office full-time post-COVID

RELATED: Health Canada extends expiry of thousands of AstraZeneca shots by another month

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Letters to the Editor.
Snipes prank not worth celebrating

Is another form of bullying deserving of a bronze statue?

Letters to the editor.
Money the B.C. government’s priority over health

Case numbers of COVID-19 don’t seem to back up opening the economy

Police have been kept busy dealing with a crime spree throughout the pandemic in North Cowichan/Duncan and elsewhere. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Worrisome time amid a pandemic

Huge drain on finances, rising criminal activity among the concerns

A young woman is believed to have died in a fire on the Malahat Nation reserve early Thursday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
UPDATE: Woman dies in fire on Malahat Nation reserve Thursday morning

18-year-old victim alerted others to the fire, police say

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read