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When will you get a COVID-19 vaccine? Canada releases timeline for distribution that lasts until end of September

Elisabetta Bianchini
·3-min read

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

The Canadian government anticipates that at least 95 per cent of the Canadian population will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the third quarter of the year, between July and September.

“These figures are estimates and are subject to change based on ongoing engagement with suppliers, the progress of clinical trials and regulatory reviews in the scaling up of supply chains,” Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer said on Thursday.

Between July and September, 73 million people could be vaccinated in Canada (more than double than the population of the country), based on estimated deliveries of all vaccine manufacturers with Canadian purchase agreements, including Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novavax, among others, even those seemingly farther out in their Health Canada approvals. Federal officials also estimate that 36 million people could be vaccinated in the same time frame, based on vaccines already authorized in the country.

By the end of March, federal officials estimate that three million Canadians will be able to be vaccinated.

Between April and June, it’s anticipated that Canada have the capacity to vaccinate 23 million people, based on estimated deliveries of all vaccine procured by Canada, or 13 million people, based on vaccines already authorized in the country. This would mean between 34 per cent and 61 per cent of the population could be vaccinated.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada and head of the country's vaccine distribution efforts, confirmed that this week, 190,125 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was distributed to the provinces, about 82 per cent of the supply originally expected.

Estimated COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada based on supply
Estimated COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada based on supply

This comes after it was announced on Tuesday that next week’s delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be deferred in its entirety, with 79,000 doses expected to arrive the following week.

Maj.-Gen. Fortin said some provinces are being “disproportionately impacted” due to “shipping decisions made by the manufacturer.”

“We have made a commitment to provinces most impacted that allocations would be rebalanced as soon as supply is available,” he said.

It’s expected that Pfizer will be able to meet its commitment of four million doses delivered to Canada by the end of March.

The next shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in the first week of February and is expected to total 230,400 doses.

Dr. Tom Wong, chief medical officer of public health for Indigenous Services Canada, confirmed that over 160 communities have begun vaccination clinics.

He highlighted that efforts in Montreal to vaccinate the city’s homeless population is disproportionality impacting urban Indigenous communities. Ontario is also working with Ornge and First Nations partners to administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to 31 remote First Nations communities in northern Ontario.

Check out our COVID-19 in Canada topic page for latest news, tips, health updates, cases and more.