A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada to get 1 million vaccine doses this week with only Pfizer delivery scheduled

Only shipment expected this week will come from Pfizer and BioNTech.

OTTAWA — The recent flood of COVID-19 vaccine doses into Canada is expected to wane this week, with a little more than 1 million shots scheduled for delivery over the next seven days.

Canada has fielded vaccine deliveries from various pharmaceutical firms in recent weeks amid dramatic spikes in COVID-19 case counts across the country.

Yet the Public Health Agency of Canada says the only shipment expected this week will come from Pfizer and BioNTech, which have been consistently delivering more than 1 million doses each week since March.

While Canada received more than a million combined doses of the Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines last week, the Public Health Agency is not expecting any of either over the next seven days.

Moderna, which delivers shots every two weeks, is scheduled to ship more than 1.2 million doses to Canada the week of April 19.

Canada has also approved a vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson, but it is not clear when the first of those doses will be delivered.

The federal government is hoping this week’s lull in deliveries will be the exception, with Public Procurement Minister Anita Anand promising on Friday that millions more shots are on their way in the coming weeks and months.

“We are accelerating rapidly in terms of our deliveries,” Anand said. “We have moved 22 million doses from later quarters to earlier quarters in the year, including … 44 million doses expected prior to the end of June.”

The rush to get vaccines into Canadians’ arms has grown more urgent as Canada continues to see a massive spike in the number of new COVID-19 infections.

Thousands of new cases were reported on Sunday, including a record 4,456 in Ontario alone. Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief medical health officer, noted admissions to intensive care units surged 23 per cent last week compared to the one before and said the Canada is approaching the peak of the current pandemic wave.

Tam said many of those getting sick are younger than in previous COVID-19 surges, which experts have blamed on virus variants that are spreading across the country.

That has prompted some provinces to start looking at changes to how they are distributing their vaccines.

More than 10 million doses had been distributed across Canada as of Sunday afternoon, according to covid19tracker.ca, with nearly 8 million having been administered.

Almost 20 per cent of the population has received at least one shot.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

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