Canada begins Covid-19 vaccinations, but officials fear supply issues due to global scramble

Within minutes of the primary doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine touchdown in Canada on Sunday evening, Trudeau tweeted an image of the plane’s valuable cargo but noted “our fight against COVID-19 is not over.”

Among the early recipients have been a private assist care employee in Toronto and an aged resident in Montreal as Canada started distributing its first 30,000 doses.

“I feel it’s emotional because I know how worried and anxious families and health care workers are across the country, how we’ve all worked so hard as a country to save lives and stop the spread,” mentioned Patty Hajdu, Canada’s well being minister, who mentioned she cried as she talked to one of many early recipients in Montreal.

But Canadian officials are the primary to admit that the vaccine rollout is not going to be as widespread as within the United States or the United Kingdom due to what they describe as a “fiercely competitive” global scramble for early doses.

“We are dealing with an incredibly competitive global environment,” mentioned Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of procurement at a information convention Monday, including, “We’ve been able to negotiate hard, with fortitude, to bring early doses into this country.”

While Trudeau informed Canadians final week that the nation would obtain 249,000 doses earlier than yr’s finish, Anand made it clear the quantity might really be lower than half that.

Dangerous second wave

Canada says it finally may have not less than 4 occasions as many doses as wanted for its inhabitants of about 38 million individuals by the top of 2021, but it is the timeline that now issues federal officials.

“Notably, our portfolio consists of signed agreements with seven vaccine manufacturers that will provide us with access to up to 414 million doses, the most number of doses per capita of any country in the world,” mentioned Anand, who has led efforts to put collectively Canada’s vaccine portfolio.

But with Canada now overwhelmed by a second wave of the pandemic, officials are rising involved that vaccines is not going to arrive rapidly sufficient to save lives.

The nation has reported greater than 464,000 confirmed circumstances, with 13,451 deaths, in accordance to the Johns Hopkins Covid Tracker database, with practically 80% of the deaths occurring amongst residents of long-term care services.

Officials are prioritizing these residents together with well being care staff as new restrictions on companies and gatherings have failed to stem the surge in new circumstances or to maintain the virus out of the susceptible long-term services.

Several provinces — together with Ontario, Quebec and Alberta — have set data for each new circumstances and hospitalizations within the final week.

Canadian public well being officials say about 2,900 persons are presently hospitalized with Covid-19, and practically one in 5 of these sufferers are in intensive care.

During the previous week, Canada reported a median of 100 Covid-related deaths each day, very shut to the spring peak.

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