Pfizer vaccines: a reduction in deliveries heavier than expected

The temporary reduction in doses of Pfizer’s vaccine sent to Canada will ultimately be about 70% on average, rather than 50%.

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This was indicated by Major General Dany Fortin, responsible for the logistics of vaccine distribution for Ottawa, on Thursday.

Canada has to come to terms with delivery delays for four weeks since Pfizer is carrying out expansion work at its facilities in Belgium.

While no dose arrives this week, only 79,000 doses will be delivered during the first week of February and 70,000 during the second. This is a small fraction of the 367,000 that were originally forecast on a weekly basis during that month.

The quantity of doses will however increase in mid-February, with 335,000 doses anticipated for the week of February 15 and 395,000 for that of 22.

Despite the larger-than-expected reductions, Major General Fortin assured that the 4 million doses planned by the end of March will have been delivered. He clarified that the number of doses that can be withdrawn from each vial does not matter.

The US pharmaceutical has asked Health Canada to change the labeling to allow the withdrawal of six doses rather than five.

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