Two vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sit on a table at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Halifax on May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Two vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sit on a table at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Halifax on May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Canada to receive 2.9M vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech increase deliveries

Firms expected to deliver about 400,000 more doses a week than what was typical last month

Canada is set to receive 2.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week thanks in large part to an increase in planned deliveries from Pfizer and BioNTech.

The two pharmaceutical companies had been delivering about 2 million shots per week through the month of May, but will increase that to 2.4 million doses per week starting on Monday.

The federal government says the other 500,000 shots due to arrive this week will come from Moderna, which will deliver the jabs in two separate shipments.

The first will arrive in the middle of the week while the second is due for delivery next weekend, with the doses set for distribution to provinces and territories next week.

The government is also expecting another 1 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of June, though a detailed delivery schedule has not been confirmed.

The fate of more than 300,000 shots from Johnson and Johnson that were first delivered in April remains unclear as Health Canada continues reviewing their safety following concerns about possible tainting at a Baltimore production facility.

The arrival of more Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots comes after Health Canada’s Saturday decision to extend the expiry date of tens of thousands of AstraZeneca doses by one month. Many Canadians had been scrambling to get a second shot before the original best-by date of May 31.

The department stressed in a statement that the move was supported by ample scientific evidence.

News of the extension came as pharmacists and physicians in Ontario planned to work through the weekend to use up 45,000 shots expiring on May 31 and 10,000 more with a best-before date in June.

Any injections formerly set to expire on Monday can now be used until July 1, according to Health Canada’s new guidance.

Some provinces have paused their use of the vaccine over supply issues and concerns around a rare but deadly blood clotting disorder linked to the shots.

There were just over two dozen confirmed cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, also known as VITT, in Canada as of last Thursday, with another 14 under investigation.

Five people had died of the condition, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.

Ontario resumed the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for second doses this past week, citing evidence that the likelihood of developing the condition is even lower after the follow-up shot than it is after the first injection.

As of Sunday night, provinces reported administering more than 23 million doses, with more than half the population having received at least one shot. Nearly 2 million Canadians, or about five per cent of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

—Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Survey show only 20 per cent of workers want to return to office full-time post-COVID

RELATED: Health Canada extends expiry of thousands of AstraZeneca shots by another month

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read