Canada will have to wait a little longer for a promised influx of COVID-19 vaccines.
The federal government says it expects about 1 million shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to arrive this week, as the two pharmaceutical firms continue delivering doses on a regular schedule.
Ottawa had planned to take delivery of about 1.2 million doses from Moderna as well, but that was before government officials revealed last week that the shipment would be both delayed and scaled back.
Last week, British Columbia’s health minister said the news that Moderna will be delaying shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine is “disappointing.”
Adrian Dix also highlighted that the sooner people can get vaccinated, the better.
The federal government revealed that Canada’s incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will be slashed in half through the rest of April.
Dix says B.C. appreciates Ottawa’s offer to send more of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in May and June to compensate, but increased deliveries this month would be more helpful.
The government has blamed a backlog in quality-assurance testing for the reduction, which will cut the number of doses Canada can expect this month in half and postpone their delivery by at least a week.
Ottawa is not expecting any deliveries of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson vaccines over the next seven days.
The federal government says it nonetheless remains confident that all adults will be fully vaccinated by the end of September, with several companies promising to speed up their deliveries in the coming months and Pfizer promising additional doses to help compensate for the Moderna shortfall.
With files to the Canadian Press.