Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer at Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks during a COVID-19 press conference at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer at Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks during a COVID-19 press conference at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

Vaccine distribution ramping up as 11% of Canadians get first shots: Ottawa

The federal government expects to deliver at least 1.5 million more doses within the next week.

Canada has hit a milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination drive and the federal government says it expects to deliver at least 1.5 million more doses within the next week.

Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, said during a news conference Thursday that the country had surpassed the 10 per cent mark of residents over 18 receiving at least one shot.

“To date, over 4.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada,” Njoo said in Ottawa. “This marks an important milestone, with more than 11 per cent of eligible adult Canadians … having received at least one dose.”

Njoo said that includes 60 per cent of people older than 80 and 19 per cent between 70 and 79. More than 60 per cent of adults in the three territories have received their first shot, he said.

But he warned those numbers aren’t enough to stop the spread as more transmissible variants continue to pose a “significant threat” until more people are vaccinated.

Federal officials said a total of six million vaccine doses have been delivered to the provinces and territories.

“With nearly two million vaccine doses to be distributed next week, we are clearly on track to receive eight million vaccine doses, reaching our objective for this quarter,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander who is overseeing the country’s vaccine program logistics.

Fortin said he doesn’t expect any disruption to shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Europe, despite concerns about potential export reductions by the European Union.

He said 1.2 million Pfizer doses are to arrive next week — the same as this week, which was the largest shipment so far.

Another 846,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are also being delivered, though there was word late Thursday that a batch of nearly 600,000, which was expected to arrive on the weekend, has been delayed until April 1.

Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand blamed a “backlog in its quality assurance process.”

“All of the doses have been manufactured and are authorized for shipment to Canada,” she said. “Once Moderna’s final quality assurance process has been completed, the doses will be released for shipment.”

The first 1.5 million Oxford-AstraZeneca doses coming from the United States could also arrive next week, Fortin said, but a date has not yet been confirmed.

Fortin said there’s no indication that shipments of vaccine to Canada from India will be delayed, but added those discussions are ongoing.

Media reports Wednesday said India has halted exports of Covishield, the version of AstraZeneca produced at that country’s Serum Institute.

India has already supplied 500,000 of a planned two million doses to Canada, with another one million still slated for arrival in mid-April, followed by a final shipment a month or so later.

Health Canada noted Thursday it has updated the product label for the AstraZeneca vaccine to warn about blood clotting. Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser for the federal department, said three cases of blood clotting have been reported out of 300,000 Canadians who have received at least one dose, but none appeared to be linked to the vaccine.

Sharma said she agrees with European health authorities that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential risks, and that all four vaccines approved for use in Canada are considered safe.

Canada’s overall infection rate since the pandemic began a year ago is nearing the one-million mark. To date, the virus has killed 22,759 people across the country.

Health officials in New Brunswick are imposing circuit-breaker measures in an effort to contain an outbreak of the infection in the province’s northwest.

“We’re quite concerned because it is the variant,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “We have to pull out all the stops to get things under control.”

The province reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 89 active cases.

In Nova Scotia, there were four additional cases, including two related to travel, for a total of 25.

Ontario reported another 2,380 cases and 17 deaths, but officials noted that number was inflated because of a data catchup.

Quebec reported 945 cases and four more deaths, while Manitoba reported 111 cases and one death.Saskatchewan had 168 new cases and two deaths.

In Alberta, health officials reported 764 cases and three deaths. Twenty-one per cent of active cases were variants of concern.

British Columbia officials said they have seen an increase in cases among people who are 19 to 39 in the past six weeks even as COVID-19 cases decrease in people over 80.

Long-term care residents in British Columbia will soon be allowed more than one visitor and will be able to give their loved ones a hug after more than a year of strict restrictions.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attend an apartment fire on the morning of April 11 in a building at 521 Fulton Str. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Sunday morning fire rouses tenants

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended an apartment fire at 521 Fulton St.

Bears are waking up hungry and starting to forage, Conservation Officer Service said on April 9. Prince Residents are advised to keep garbage in sealed containers to lessen bear attraction. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Keep bears wild – they are not teddy bears

Conservation Officer Service warns bears are waking up hungry

Prince Rupert couple Alvin Tait and Loni Martin have postponed their wedding two times due to COVID-19 affecting the marriage rates in Prince Rupert. (Photo: supplied/L.Martin)
No marriages in Prince Rupert in 2021 so far

Weddings down 23.9% in P.R. since COVID-19 with B.C. wedding industry loss at $158 million

Three North Coast organizations are granted funding to promote multiculturalism and support anti-racism, Jennifer Rice MLA announced on April 8. Conrad Elementary School students recognized the first Black Shirt Day on January 15, 2021, to advocate for anti-racism. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
North Coast organizations to benefit from anti-racism funding

$944,000 granted in provincial funding to aid multiculturalism

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Most Read