Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday assured Canadians that the country’s turbulent COVID-19 vaccine rollout remains on track after Pfizer agreed to boost shipments just as Moderna deliveries hit a snag.
“We are well on track to reaching in the upper of 40 to 50 million doses by the end of June,” Trudeau told a news conference, adding that by that date “most Canadians will have been able to receive a first dose of the vaccination.”
He also renewed his government’s commitment that “all Canadians who want a vaccine will be able to be vaccinated by the end of September.”
Earlier, Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced that Moderna would cut almost in half its next shipment, expected by month’s end, to 650,000 doses.
However Trudeau said Canada has secured an additional eight million Pfizer-BioNTech doses to more than make up for the Moderna shortfall.
Canada will “continue to bring vaccines into the country in the face of volatile supply chains,” Anand said.
“We may see additional delays over the coming months,” which is “obviously very disappointing,” she added.
The first four million additional Pfizer-BioNTech doses are scheduled to arrive in May, followed by two million doses in June and two million more doses in July, Trudeau said.
Canada has signed deals with seven pharmaceutical firms for some 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and approved four for use so far—the Pfizer, Moderna AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs.
To date, more than 8.5 million Canadians or 22.5 percent of the population have received at least one shot, according to the COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker website.