Canada Receives First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccines from Global Vaccine Initiative

Major General Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada’s national vaccine distribution effort, told a technical briefing on the vaccine rollout today that about 317,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine procured through COVAX arrived in Canada this morning.

Canada has contributed $440 million to the COVAX facility, an initiative backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations aimed at ensuring equitable access to vaccines.

Half of Canada’s contribution is going toward purchasing vaccine doses for less developed countries, while the other half purchased doses for Canadians. Canada expects to receive approximately 1.6 million additional doses through COVAX by the end of June.

The federal government has distributed more than 10.5 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines to provinces and territories as of today. All adults who want to get vaccinated can get the first shots in the summer or early fall, Mr. Fortin asserted.

Federal officials still don’t have a delivery schedule for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine beyond the expectation that the first shipment will arrive sometime in late April. Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine received Health Canada’s approval a month ago and Canada has pre-ordered 10 million doses.

The 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the United States were delivered to the provinces last Saturday. The remaining 100,000 doses of 1.5 million loans from the United States will arrive this week. Another million doses of AstraZeneca are expected from the US by the end of June

Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr. Howard Njoo said more than seven million doses have been injected across the country.

81% of people 80 years of age and older received the first dose and 10% received the second dose. Among people 70 to 79 years of age, 53% got the first dose and 2% got the second dose.

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