When Canada enters Phase 2 of the national mass COVID-19 immunization effort in April, federal officials are planning to receive “more than” one million doses of approved vaccines every week, on average.
Maj-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout and distribution of vaccines from the Public Health Agency of Canada, called the second part of the national vaccination campaign the “ramp-up” phase. This is when vaccinations of the general public are slated to begin, and right now it’s anticipated that 20 million doses will be delivered to Canada between April and June.
“The logistics planning team at the agency is working with federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners to align forecasted vaccine availability with the immunization capacity in the provinces and territories,” Fortin said, adding that this includes making sure the cold-chain storage and other supplies like needles and bandages are available.
Fortin said additional planning documents about Phase 2 will be shared with the provinces and territories soon.
“We continue to work with Public Services and Procurement Canada colleagues, and with manufacturers to maximize the vaccine availability so that as many Canadians as possible can be safely immunized as rapidly as possible.”
The Phase 1 rollout is continuing through February and March, pushing to properly allocate and prioritize key groups like residents and staff in long-term care homes as well as front-line health-care workers with the initial six million doses of the approved Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
In this first stage of the vaccine campaign, Canada has seen both doses sitting in freezers as well as provinces saying they are running short, while those on the front line have sought to sort out who should and shouldn’t be receiving shots at this time.
Fortin said that by Friday, the federal government will have distributed a total of 929,000 doses.