Canada is set to receive 1.5 million additional doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during a press conference Friday.
Pfizer will be delivering the additional doses to Canada in March, “moving deliveries ahead of schedule,” Trudeau said.
So far, 6 million doses total of COVID-19 vaccines were expected by the end of March. With these accelerated Pfizer vaccine deliveries and the additional 500,000 Astrazeneca doses delivered this week, Canada will now get 8 million doses by the end of this month.
“We’ll also be getting another 1 million doses ahead of schedule in both April and May,” he said.
In total, Canada can “now expect 12.8 million doses from April to June from Pfizer alone,” the prime minister added.
Canada also has an agreement with Johnson & Johnson for 10 million vaccine doses between now and September.
There are now four safe and effective vaccines approved by independent regulators in Canada.
Canada added a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to its pandemic-fighting arsenal on Friday, approving Johnson & Johnson’s product a week after it was authorized in the United States.
That gives Canada four distinct vaccines – along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca – and it adds flexibility to the country’s plan to immunize the majority of its residents by September.
Health Canada includes a fifth vaccine, Covishield, which is a separate brand name for doses of the AstraZeneca product made at the Serum Institute of India.
The U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use on Feb. 27.
Canada has already secured up to 38 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through previous negotiations with the company, however it’s not expected that any will flow to Canada until at least April.
With files from The Canadian Press