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This article has been published 3/18/2021 (194 days ago), the information it contains may therefore no longer be up to date.
Canada’s Procurement Minister said a deal is on the verge of receiving doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the United States, while the military commander in charge of the deployment here has said any adults who wish could be able to receive their first injection by July 1.
“After much discussion with the Biden administration, Canada is finalizing an exchange agreement to receive 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the United States,” Anita Anand said on Twitter Thursday.
“We look forward to providing an update to Canadians once the details are finalized.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki earlier said an additional 2.5 million doses would be sent to Mexico, but details were still being worked out.
The United States currently has seven million “releasable” doses of the vaccine, which have yet to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration, she said.
The loan would replace a future swap of doses from Canada and Mexico, Psaki said – either of the AstraZeneca vaccine or another.
“God bless America. They are coming to our aid, ”Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference in Hamilton.
“I’ll drive over there in my pickup and pick them up if I have to.”
US President Joe Biden did not address the vaccine swap when he briefed Americans on the progress of vaccination in that country.
He said the United States will have administered 100 million vaccines by Friday and that the country is on track to have enough vaccines to vaccinate all American adults by the end of May.
Last week, Canadian provinces began administering 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca version of the vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India.
The federal government purchased 20 million doses directly from AstraZeneca, but did not have a timeline for their arrival.
Regulators in Europe and the UK have concluded that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks, but the two are still investigating whether the vaccine was linked to a small number of rare brain blood clots.
Earlier Thursday, Major-General. Dany Fortin, who oversees the logistics of Canada’s immunization program, said provinces should have enough doses by the end of next quarter for anyone who wants to get vaccinated.
But he then clarified that it was up to the provinces which continued to delay second doses for up to four months so more people could receive their first injection earlier, along with supplies coming in as scheduled.
“While there is no indication of any disruptions or fluctuations in production, this is a pandemic with a global demand for vaccines produced as quickly as possible,” Fortin said in Ottawa.
“We are always subject to fluctuations in production and the challenges of a complicated supply chain across the world and in this country.”
While initial deliveries from Johnson & Johnson and direct shipments from AstraZeneca are still in limbo, there is more than enough Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made in India to exceed the target of ‘one dose per person by the end of June.
Supply figures show there are 36.5 million doses confirmed to be shipped by June 30. Only people over the age of 16 can currently be vaccinated and approximately 31 million Canadians are in this age group.
Ottawa still says Canadians will be fully immunized by the end of September.
Canada’s deputy chief public health officer Dr Howard Njoo said nearly seven percent of Canadians have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 1.6 percent received two doses. The vast majority of doses given in the past two weeks were first injections.
British Columbia said Thursday it will use its expected doses of AstraZeneca on 300,000 frontline workers, including police officers, teachers, grocery store workers and daycare workers.
Premier John Horgan has said immunizing these workers will make the province safer.
Also on Thursday, the premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador declared that the Atlantic tourism bubble will be re-established. here April 19. This means that residents of the region will be able to travel to Atlantic Canada without having to self-isolate for 14 days.
Travel between the four provinces has been restricted since late November, following a number of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Meanwhile, Ontario, which is tightening restrictions in Ottawa amid “worrying trends,” has reported 1,553 new COVID-19 infections and 15 more deaths.
Quebec surpassed 300,000 COVID-19 infections with the 702 new cases reported Thursday. The province also added seven more deaths in its latest update.
In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney said COVID-19 data looks promising as his cabinet committee prepares next week to decide whether restrictions could be relaxed further.
– with files from Mia Rabson in Ottawa, James McCarten in Washington and Shawn Jeffords in Toronto.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 18, 2021.