About 14.6 per cent of the Canadian adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to new figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The numbers come as the country’s largest provinces introduce stricter lockdown measures ahead of the Easter long weekend in the face of rising caseloads and increased ICU stays.
While officials taking part in a a technical briefing in Ottawa this morning said the vaccine rollout is going well, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer warned that even those who have received a dose need to follow public health measures such as masking and physical distancing.
“Because the extent to which vaccines may prevent the onward spread of the virus has not yet been fully determined, this has to apply to everyone in Canada — including those of you who have received your first and even your second dose of a vaccine,” said Dr. Howard Njoo.
“Please hang in there a while longer. We have come too far to let our guard down now.”
According to CBC’s vaccine tracker, just under three per cent of Canadians are fully vaccinated.
7.4M doses have been distributed: Fortin
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander in charge of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, said that about 7.4 million doses have been distributed so far to the provinces and territories. He said he expects that number to rise to 9.5 million by the weekend.
“Our distribution tempo will keep on increasing, with over 40 million doses scheduled by end June and more than 100 million doses by end September,” he said.
Another 590,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are now on their way to Canada after being delayed last week due to a backlog in the Europe manufacturer’s quality assurance process. Fortin said those doses will be distributed to provinces starting Saturday.
WATCH | Federal officials give update on vaccine distribution efforts
Fortin said the 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine received from the United States got authorization from Health Canada on Wednesday and are being delivered to the provinces already.
“What we are seeing in terms of vaccine rollout is encouraging,” said Njoo.
“The rate of our progress in curbing COVID-19 in Canada, however, is subject to a mix of variables. As more and more people are vaccinated, for instance, we can expect that the data and recommendations on the use of vaccines will continue to evolve.”
The media briefing comes as Ontario prepares to move the entire province into what the Ford government calls “shutdown” measures. Sources tell CBC News indoor dining at restaurants, personal care services such as hair salons, and indoor fitness activities are to be prohibited.
Earlier this week, Quebec Premier François Legault announced tighter rules in three cities he said are facing a “critical” situation, while B.C. implemented a three-week “circuit breaker”-style lockdown.
Canada waiting for more Johnson & Johnson details
Canada is expected to start receiving shipments of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine in April. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that about 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had been contaminated in a factory mix-up.
The drug giant confirmed Wednesday that a batch of vaccine made by Emergent BioSolutions at its Baltimore factory cannot be used because it did not meet quality standards.
Federal officials said Thursday they do not believe Canada will be affected by the loss of that Johnson & Johnson batch.
Joelle Paquette is the director general responsible for vaccine procurement at Public Services and Procurement Canada. She said the government is still waiting to find out where Canada’s doses will be manufactured.
“We are still working and discussing with the company on doses to be delivered to Canada and we’re expecting, once we have that information, to share,” she said.
“So the impact of the situation in the United States is not impacting delivery to Canada.”
www.cbc.ca 2021-04-01 17:21:39