FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2020, file photo, a general view of Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium in Puurs, Belgium. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2020, file photo, a general view of Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium in Puurs, Belgium. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

COVID-19: Canada to get 249,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in December, Trudeau says

Vaccine is still pending Health Canada approval

Canada is expecting to receive up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday (Dec. 7).

“The first shipment of doses is tracking for delivery next week,” Trudeau said at a morning press conference in Ottawa. “

“This will move us forward on our whole timeline”

The Pfizer vaccine must still receive Health Canada approval before it is distributed. Trudeau said that if the vaccine is approved this week, the first Canadians will begin to get vaccinated next week.

In total, Canada is expected to get between 20 million and 76 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine requires two doses and is up to 95 per cent effective, Pfizer said, and Trudeau confirmed the first doses will vaccinate just short of 125,000 people. It has already received approval in the U.K.

READ MORE: UK gears up for huge vaccination plan watched by the world

Federal and provincial governments are working on the country’s first 14 vaccination sites. At prior press conferences, federal officials have that Pfizer will handle delivery of their vaccine to point-of-use sites. The Pfizer vaccine comes with one major challenge; it must be stored and shipped at ultra-cold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit). Canada has ordered 126 freezers for vaccine storage, 26 of which are ultra-cold freezers for the Pfizer option.

Trudeau said the most vulnerable will be vaccinated first, which is expected to include residents and health-care workers at the country’s hard hit long-term care facilities. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has said that following that, the vaccine will be prioritized for people aged 80 and older, with it being released in five-year increments to age 70 as more supply becomes available. The other priority groups will include health-care workers and adults in Indigenous communities, where “infection can have disproportionate consequences.”

The prime minister said this was “the largest mobilization of vaccines in Canada’s history” and that the rollout plan would be complex. Maj-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said a dry run with the Pfizer vaccine is being conducted this week.

Canada has hedged its bet on successful vaccine candidates, and is scheduled to receive:

  • 20 to 70 million doses of the Pfizer messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate developed with BioNTech, BNT162b2
  • Up to 76 million doses of the Medicago virus-like particle vaccine candidate
  • Up to 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca viral vector vaccine candidate AZD1222
  • Up to 72 million doses of the Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline protein subunit vaccine candidate
  • Up to 38 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson viral vector vaccine candidate Ad26.COV2.S
  • Up to76 million doses of the Novavax protein subunit vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373
  • Up to 56 million doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.

Health officials have promised that the COVID-19 vaccine will be free for all Canadians, but will not be made mandatory.

READ MORE: Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Correction: In the initial story, it said the 249,000 doses would vaccinate 125 million people. It is 125,000 people; each person requires two doses.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeauvaccinesvideo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The intersection of Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street, where a child was struck and injured in November 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
High-traffic Parksville intersection to get temporary 4-way stop

City staff to monitor effectiveness of traffic-calming measure at Despard and Moilliet

A Parksville Fire Department’s firefighter hoses down the facade of a Parksville Heritage Centre building after it caught fire on Friday afternoon (April 16). (Michael Briones photo)
Fire crews, roofers work to douse building fire in Parksville

Damage was minimal and workers escaped injury

Cast and crew of the Hallmark Channel series ‘Chesapeake Shores’ as they film at Parksville beach on April 15, 2021. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fifth season of ‘Chesapeake Shores’ looks to showcase Parksville Qualicum Beach region

Executive producer: ‘We’re really excited for the fans to experience the fifth season’

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read