Canada has the largest vaccine portfolio in the world, but has not been able to get its vaccination program on track so far, despite facing a third wave of pandemics.
In December, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced an investment of $ 1 billion (£ 580 million) in a vaccine agreement. Ottawa had secured seven separate vaccine purchase contracts, she said, enough for each Canadian to receive 10 free doses.
Four months later, Canada is still lagging behind most Western nations in vaccination. It is currently ranked 44th in the world ranking of per capita vaccinations. According to data compiled by Bloomberg..
This week, the country welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that Pzifer-BioNTech has agreed to accelerate the administration of 5 million doses of vaccine from late summer to June.
But the country is now at war with a surge of new Covid-19 variants that could overwhelm the already tense hospital system. The country recorded more than 980,080 infections and nearly 23,000 deaths.
Canada was criticized late last year for buying many times the supply needed to cover its population.
The company has signed contracts with seven vaccine suppliers, including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, for a total of more than 400 million doses.
However, the inability to produce vaccines domestically has forced Canada to rely primarily on external manufacturers in the EU and the United States, and vaccine exports have been delayed or canceled altogether. I will.
Over 12 out of 100 Canadians have been vaccinated at least once, compared to about 30 in the United States and 46 in the United Kingdom.
Immunization has become even more dissatisfied with changes to the guidance regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine. In late February, Health Canada allowed all Canadians over the age of 18 to use it. But this week, the government quoted a question about blood clots, saying that vaccines should not be used for adults under the age of 55.
Approximately 500,000 AstraZeneca shipments have already been shipped to Canada, with 1.5 million shipments expected from the United States this week. By the end of June, another 4.4 million doses are expected.
“Lamp up phase”
Some news this week suggests that Canada may be trying to change the fate of the vaccine.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that Pfizer will speed up the delivery of five million vaccines to Canada by June. This new timeline means that Canada needs to receive about 17.8 million Pfizer vaccines between April and June. This is more than 1 million inoculations per week.
The first dose of Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine is scheduled for the end of April. Canada has pre-ordered 10 million doses of this vaccine, and can order an additional 28 million doses.
“We easily exceeded our promised goal of 6 million doses by April,” Trudeau said. “And this week we are starting the launch phase.”
Canada is also working to stop the vaccine shortage in the future.
According to the Toronto Star, the federal government and the Government of Ontario, Canada’s most populous state, will announce an investment of approximately $ 1 billion in vaccine manufacturing and distribution facilities in the Toronto region.
Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi SA will expand Canada’s influenza vaccine production capacity to produce enough for the entire population in six months. The facility is expected to be completed by 2027.
Some experts warn that the catch-up of this vaccine may not be enough to stop the third wave of pandemics in the increasing number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Official, said:
The Public Health Agency of Canada predicts that as Canadians increase or maintain current levels of social interaction, Covid-19 infection rates will skyrocket to the highest levels the country has ever seen.
Experts have associated a surge in the number of Covid-19 variants detected in Canada. Dr. Tam said on Tuesday that new variants of Canada increased by 64% in the last week alone.
She said the current spread of varieties is only “the tip of the iceberg.”
“New concerns variants” account for more than two-thirds of all new cases in Ontario, according to a report from the state’s scientific advisory board. Compared to the previous strain, the new variant is associated with a 63% increased risk of hospitalization and a 56% increase in mortality.
And the hospital bears an additional burden. According to the report, the number of people hospitalized in Covid-19 is 21% higher than it was three months before Ontario began blocking the entire state. Intensive care unit occupancy is 28% higher.
“Is something missing here, or is this presentation really predicting a disaster?” The journalist asked the report’s author, Dr. Adalstein Brown, last month.
“No,” said Dr. Brown. “I don’t think you’re missing something.”