Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government has reached an agreement to purchase another 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total number of vaccine doses scheduled to arrive this year to 80 million.
That’s enough to vaccinate the entire Canadian population with the two doses required for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna products.
“From our agreements with Pfizer and Moderna alone … we are on track to have every Canadian who wants a vaccine receive one by September,” Trudeau said at a press conference outside Rideau Cottage.
The news comes as Canada experiences a post-holiday surge in daily new cases, and as provinces warn that they are administering doses faster than they are being delivered.
The federal government published a delivery schedule this week that includes shipment dates and the number of doses expected to be delivered to the provinces over the next two months.
“This will make sure [the provinces and territories] have the vaccines and information they need to keep rolling out doses as quickly as possible,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s announcement comes days after Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the federal government had chosen not to exercise its option to buy up to 16 million more doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, although those doses would not have arrived until the end of 2021.
Canada gave the green light to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s messenger RNA vaccines last month. Independent regulators at Health Canada are still reviewing other vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca-Oxford and Janssen Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
As of Monday night, more than 377,560 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Canada, according to a third-party tally.
More to come