Here’s a closer look at how many doses of novel coronavirus vaccines Canada is set to receive, and when.
How many doses are being shipped out initially?
Canada is preparing to receive an initial batch of 30,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The vaccine requires two doses, which are to be administered 21 days apart.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said some of the initial doses are set to land in the country on planes or trucks as early as Sunday evening, with more crossing the border on Monday, the Canadian Press reported.
On Friday, UPS Canada shared images on social media of the doses being prepared at a plant in Cologne, Germany.
The doses will arrive in Canada, after passing through Belgium and the United States.
After the vaccine lands in Canada, it must be thawed and diluted before individual doses can be administered.
Officials say vaccinations using the initial doses could begin as early as Tuesday.
The first batch of doses will focus on critical priority groups including front-line health workers, the elderly and people working in long-term care facilities.
How many doses will each province, territory receive from the initial batch?
Each of Canada’s provinces will receive doses in proportion to its population.
This means each of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, as well as Saskatchewan, are expecting to receive 1,950 doses in the first shipment.
Meanwhile, health officials in Ontario said they are expecting to receive 6,000 doses from the initial batch.
The territories, however, aren’t planning to receive any of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, due to shipping and storage issues.
This particular vaccine must be stored between -60 C and -80 C.
For now, officials in the territories are waiting for another vaccine candidate — one made by American biotechnology company Moderna — to be approved.
The vaccine does not have as stringent shipping or storage requirements.
The federal government has 40 million doses of the Moderna vaccine on order, two million of which are anticipated to arrive in the first quarter of the new year.
How many vaccine doses does Canada have on order?
Speaking at a press conference last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be in the country by the end of the year.
“We are now contracted to receive up to 249,000 of our initial doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in the month of December,” he said.
The prime minister said shipments will continue to arrive into 2021, with “millions of doses on the way.”
“This will move us forward on our whole timeline of vaccine rollout, and is a positive development in getting Canadians protected as soon as possible,” he continued.
Altogether, the country has more than 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccines on order from a number of different trials, some of which are still ongoing.
This is enough to vaccinate the entire population several times over.
When will most Canadians be vaccinated?
Last month, before a vaccine had been approved, Trudeau said a majority of Canadians should be vaccinated against the virus by next September.
“The fact that the doctors highlighted that if all goes according to plan, we should be able to have a majority of Canadians vaccinated by next September, puts us in very good stead,” Trudeau said.
Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, said it is “difficult to talk about precise numbers,” adding that there are a lot of unknowns.
“I think that the prime minister is optimistic; I am, too,” he said.
–With files from Global News’ Katie Dangerfield and Rachel Gilmore and the Canadian PressView link »