Sophie Gregoire Trudeau holds her husbands hand as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to receive his COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccination at a pharmacy in Ottawa on Friday April 23, 2021. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada signs deal with Pfizer for millions of COVID-19 booster shots

By Levon Sevunts |
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Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021 13:41

With COVID-19 set to become a fact of life in Canada and around the world, the federal government has reached a deal with Pfizer to secure 35 million COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for next year and 30 million for the year after, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.

Speaking at a press conference in Ottawa, just before he and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, got their vaccine shots, Trudeau said the agreement with the pharmaceutical giant includes options for an additional 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024.

“Pfizer has been a solid partner for Canada in this fight against COVID-19 and we are happy to be one of the first countries to secure an agreement with them going forward,” said Trudeau.

“These boosters will be the latest version of the Pfizer vaccine based on research and testing, and they will help us keep the virus under control.”

Federal officials are in ongoing discussions with other vaccine manufacturers about their plans for booster shots, too, he said.

Health Canada has initiated a plan to authorize boosters without the same extensive testing required to approve the original vaccines, similar to how flu shots are authorized each year after being adjusted for the new strain of flu virus believed to be dominant.

So far, the federal government has delivered almost 14 million vaccine doses across the country, Trudeau said, adding that 30 per cent of eligible adults in Canada have received at least one shot.

Next week, Canada is expecting to receive almost two million additional doses, including the first shipment of 300,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson, Trudeau said.

Canada has already purchased 117.6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which could fully vaccinate all Canadians once, and about half the population twice.

With files from The Canadian Press

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