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 map shows the number of COVID-19 cases for the week of April 25 to May 1. The darkest areas indicate communities with a daily average of more than 20 cases per 100,000 population. (BC Centre of Disease Control)
Surrey and Abbotsford battle for top COVID hotspot in Fraser Health

Two communities are among areas across province showing highest transmission

teaser
Top-10 ‘Maxim’ magazine contest model got her start in Surrey

Kajal Kumar hopes to earn $25K cash prize and a cover photo shoot

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on B.C. highways – checkpoint at Manning Park

Four checkpoints are set up Thursday, May 6 around the province

A woman walks past a long lineup that snaked through the parking lot at the Cloverdale Rec. Centre April 27 after Fraser Health allowed people age 30 and over from “high-transmission neighbourhoods” to access the AstraZeneca shot. The temporary vaccination centre is located on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale now considered a ‘high-transmission area’

Anyone 30 and over can now register for a vaccine

Ocean Athletics’ Roy Jiang – a senior at Southridge School – will study, run track and play clarinet at the California Institute of Technology beginning this fall. (Gordon Kalisch/Fast Track Sports Photography)
‘Triple-threat’ Southridge School student runs toward CalTech

Roy Jiang will compete on track team, play in the university’s symphony and study bioengineering

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Most Read