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.

Just Posted

A worker at Wee Geordies Liquor Store held at knifepoint on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. A female entered the store and grabbed a bottle of liquor and produced a knife and demanded money. She was not located. (Wee Geordies video surveillance screenshot)
VIDEO: Two stores robbed on the same day in Kitimat

The first incident was at 5:45 a.m. and the second incident occurred 3:30 p.m.

McElhanney worked with the builder, LHLP, to develop a fishway in a highly constrained and fluctuating waterway. (McElhanney file photo)
McElhanney win natural resources and habitat award for the Anderson Creek Fishway

Local team used design elements to minimize the environmental impact of the LNG Canada construction

The community food share garden that was located in Mountainview Square between Pet Valu and BC Liquor store has been relocated to the Cornerstone garden between No frills and the lower mall access. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat Food Share Garden getting set up for the season

The District of Kitimat has also contributed $30,600 in 2021 to the TSWA’s Food Share program

An aircraft gets serviced at the Northwest Regional Airport. An apron expansion project undertaken in October last year, will be able to accommodate six aircrafts once ready in May. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
VIDEO: Northwest Regional Airport apron expansion work nears completion

The $2 million project was undertaken to accommodate increased LNG Canada charter traffic

Kitimat RCMP searching for two robbery suspects. (File photo)
Two robbers, both armed with knives, sought

Incidents took place at corner store, liquor store

A worker at Wee Geordies Liquor Store held at knifepoint on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. A female entered the store and grabbed a bottle of liquor and produced a knife and demanded money. She was not located. (Wee Geordies video surveillance screenshot)
VIDEO: Two stores robbed on the same day in Kitimat

The first incident was at 5:45 a.m. and the second incident occurred 3:30 p.m.

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Most Read