Pfizer has agreed to move up deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, one day after restricting AstraZeneca jabs over safety concerns.
"Pfizer has now confirmed that they will be moving up five million doses from later in the summer into June. That will bring our total from 4.6 million to 9.6 million doses for that month alone," Trudeau told a news conference.
The arrival of these, as well as Moderna and AstraZeneca shots, bringing total doses expected by June 30 to more than 40 million, will allow the country to "begin our ramp-up phase" and meet its goal of inoculating all Canadians by the end of summer, he said.
"We want to get more doses of vaccines... to as many Canadians as possible in the coming months," he said.
Canada, with a population of 38 million, has ordered or reserved more than 400 million doses of vaccine from seven pharmaceutical groups.
But its rollout, started in December, has suffered several setbacks.
Only four vaccine candidates so far have been approved for use in Canada: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
On Tuesday, Canada received 1.5 million surplus AstraZeneca doses from the United States, which has yet to approve its use domestically.
But Canadian experts on Monday recommended halting the use of AstraZeneca shots for people aged under 55, after a small but rising number of patients abroad suffered blood clots.
© 2021 AFP