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Canada adds 4,876 new coronavirus cases as anger builds over reduced vaccines

Click to play video: 'Feds: Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan remains on track'
Feds: Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan remains on track
WATCH: ‘The federal government says Canada's inoculation plan is still on track, despite delays in Pfizer-BioNTech shipments. As Eric Sorensen explains, Pfizer's push to stretch the number of doses per vial is adding to complications – Jan 28, 2021

Canada added 4,876 coronavirus cases and 114 deaths as provinces expressed anger at lowered vaccine shipment expectations.

The country now has 766,102 cases total and 19,647 deaths.

The federal government started the day by reassuring provinces that the country will get four million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses by April after data showed there could be a minimum of 3.5 million.

Read more: Officials insist Canada still on track for 4M Pfizer doses by March despite planning data

Already, vaccine shipments over the coming weeks have been reduced as the company deals with troubles at its Belgium plant.

Canada is expected to receive 149,000 doses over the next two weeks — one-fifth of what had previously been promised, according to Maj.-Gen. Danny Fortin, who is in charge of the country’s vaccine efforts.

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“This is a bump in the road — not insignificant,” Fortin said. “But we have to look at the long game.”

Canada is expected to receive 20 million doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines between April and June, according to Fortin.

Click to play video: 'Confusion and concern over vaccine shipment delays'
Confusion and concern over vaccine shipment delays

Alberta’s health minister, though, said the federal government is “failing Canadians” with the vaccine delays.

“This is a grim situation that seems to be getting worse every week,” Tyler Shandro said.

Alberta will receive 63,000 fewer vaccines in the first quarter of the year than originally promised.

Meanwhile, Pfizer is also pressing the Canadian government to boost the number of doses from each vial from five to six.

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Read more: Pfizer pushes Health Canada to stretch vaccine doses per vial as demand mounts

Health Canada is currently “doing the math” to see if it is possible, according to officials, but provinces have reported they could only get six doses from vials 50 per cent of the time, according to Alberta’s chief medical officer.

Variants are still a concern, as well. The U.K. variant, which is 30 per cent more transmissible, has been circulating in Ontario and is expected to be the dominant version of the virus there by March, according to the province’s health advisors.

On the bright side, vaccine creator Novavax announced Thursday that it has developed the first vaccine effective against both the U.K. and South African variants, at 89.3 per cent and 49.4 per cent effectiveness, respectively.

As for cases, Ontario reported 2,093 new infections on Thursday after three days below the 2,000 case mark. The province also reported 56 more deaths, bringing its total past 6,000 deaths to 6,014. There are now 21,478 active cases in the province and 1,338 in hospital, with 276 in ICU.

Click to play video: 'Data correction halves number of Ontario residents who have received 2 COVID-19 vaccine doses'
Data correction halves number of Ontario residents who have received 2 COVID-19 vaccine doses

The province also admitted to a mistake in calculating the number of people who had been fully vaccinated with two doses, almost halving its previous count of 96,459 to 55,286.

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Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who co-chairs Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said new infections are on track to decrease to between 1,000 and 2,000 a day by the end of February.

Over in Quebec, Premier François Legault announced most current restrictions will be extended past their current February 8 deadline as officials detected a seventh case of the U.K. variant.

“We have to be realistic,” Legault said.

The province reported 1,368 new cases on Thursday and 39 more deaths, eight of which occurred in the last 24 hours. There are currently 1,264 hospitalizations there, with 212 in ICU.

Read more: ‘We have to be realistic’: Quebec premier warns most lockdown measures to continue

Out west, British Columbia recorded 546 new cases and 12 deaths, breaking a four-day streak of below 500 cases. The number in hospitals dropped below 300 to 291, the lowest since late November.

Alberta reported 461 new cases Thursday and seven deaths, with 591 people currently in hospital due to the virus.

Saskatchewan counted 244 new cases and 11 more deaths, with 208 in hospital, while Manitoba reported 173 new cases and two more deaths.

Manitoba also announced an easing of some restrictions, including allowing non-essential retail stores to open at 25 per cent capacity and allowing an increase in household visitors.

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Click to play video: 'Alberta slams federal rollout of COVID-19 vaccine and shipment uncertainty'
Alberta slams federal rollout of COVID-19 vaccine and shipment uncertainty

Out east, New Brunswick reported 27 new cases, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported four more cases. Nunavut has also added one additional case.

There have been 101,381,964 cases worldwide and 2,188,566 deaths to date, according to Johns Hopkins University.

— With files from Global staff and the Canadian Press

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