Connect with us

Business

Debate rages over plans to delay second doses of COVID vaccine in B.C. – Vancouver Sun

Published

 on


Article content continued

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, defended the decision to extend second doses to 35 days, saying it had been taken in consultation with clinical and immunization experts in B.C. The decision included an ethical review, an examination of the vaccine data, modelling of how many people could best be protected and how much and when vaccine is expected to arrive, she said.

“Absolutely the science bears out that this is a reasonable approach that maximizes our ability to protect more people during this the most infectious period where we have the highest rates of transmission,” Henry said during a briefing Thursday.

The periods between doses are established in the trials of each company’s vaccine. The first dose introduces an element of the virus that creates an immune response in the body that teaches it to fight off the virus. The second dose helps increase protection against the virus.

Pfizer and BioNTech warned this week that there is no data to demonstrate that protection after only single dose is sustained after 21 days.

Leading global health authorities such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the U.S. since 1984, has spoken out against extending the period for second doses.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also warned this week against deviating from the prescribed dose schedules.

In Canada, the country’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, has asked the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to investigate whether it would be warranted to delay the second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to get first doses to more people faster.

“This is a topic of, of course, active discussion,” Tam said this week.

She noted the situation is grim in Canada, with more than 7,500 new patients diagnosed every day, more than 77,700 people currently infected with the virus, and more than 4,000 infected people in the nation’s hospitals.

Over the last week, an average of 122 Canadians have died of COVID-19 every day.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Canada's coming month of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be reduced by half – CTV News

Published

 on


OTTAWA —
Over the next month Canada will be experiencing a “temporary” delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments due to the pharmaceutical giant’s expansion plans at its European manufacturing facility, with the shortage resulting in an average of 50 per cent of coming doses delayed each week.

While shipments will continue in the coming weeks, the amount of doses in them will be lessened, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of doses.

“Pfizer has confirmed that Canada’s deliveries will be impacted for the next four weeks. We will see an average reduction over this timeframe of 50 per cent of expected deliveries. There will minimal impact next week… The most profound impact will be in the week of January 25,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout. 

This setback to Canada’s short-term COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule means the number of doses going to each province and territory will have to be readjusted. Fortin said that the allocations will begin to scale back up in the first two weeks of February, before returning to the size of doses originally anticipated. 

Canada was planning on receiving between 124,800 and 366,600 Pfizer doses every week between now and the end of February, as part of the plan to have six million doses total from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of March when Phase 1 ends.

The delivery for the week of Jan. 25, which Fortin said is likely to see the largest reduction, was set to be 208,650 doses. If that’s reduced by half, Canada will receive 104,325 Pfizer doses that week, which is fewer than the forecasted allocation received this week.

“In my conversation this morning with Pfizer, it was very clear that we’re are still correct in our planning assumption to receive approximately four million doses of Pfizer by March 31,” Fortin said,

Fortin said that knew the company would at some point need to scale-up their manufacturing to ramp-up its mass production, but the news of the looming construction project was brought to the federal government’s attention in the last 24 hours, according to Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos.  

Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced the delay on Friday, saying all nations who are receiving vaccines from this Pfizer facility will be receiving fewer doses.

“It is a temporary reduction, it’s not a stoppage… We will make up those doses,” Anand said.

Addressing the setback during his Rideau Cottage address on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that shipments have largely been ahead of schedule so far, but that “with an undertaking this historic, it’s only to be expected that there will be a few bumps along the way.”

Norway, which is also receiving Pfizer doses from its Europe facilities has announced that “for some time ahead” their deliveries will be reduced. In the coming week their shipment will be reduced by approximately 18 per cent.

“The reduction is due to a reorganisation at Pfizer in connection with an upgrade of production capacity… It is not yet clear how long it will take before Pfizer is up to maximum production capacity again,” said the statement published by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

The government sought to ensure that all countries who will be impacted, will be “equitably treated” in terms of delivery reductions, according to Anand. Fortin confirmed later Friday that this will be the case, with all seeing deliveries reduced by 50 per cent on average.

Anand said that while Canada is expecting to be able to catch up, the delay is “unfortunate.”

“However such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” Anand said.

By end of the day Friday, the federal government will have distributed a total of 929,000 doses of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines, around 84 per cent of which have been administered.

WON’T IMPACT PHASE 2  

The plan is to receive “more than” one million doses of approved vaccines every week, on average, starting in April with Phase 2. 

Trudeau said that while this issue is out of Canada’s hands, the country “must still get ready for the ramp-up,” in Phase 2. 

Fortin said the delays “will not change our second quarter goals,” though he could not guarantee future delays. He said he understands and feels the “disappointment,” but “we need to move forward.”

He committed to keep all key stakeholders, and Canadians appraised of any future delivery schedule changes. 

The ongoing initial vaccination stage has seen Canada 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. 

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.

“It was with precisely these types of issues in mind that Canada pursued the aggressive procurement strategy that we did,” Anand said. “This approach of ensuring diversity and volume months ago is what now gives us flexibility and margins to remain on track in difficult times.” 

Asked whether Canada will be looking to revisit their decision to not procure additional Moderna doses to make up the shortage over the next few weeks, Fortin said the amount scheduled to arrive from that company will stay the same.

As previously reported, the additional 16 million Moderna doses that the federal government left on the table in talks with that company would not be arriving until late 2021. 

As for whether Canada looked into being able to receive Pfizer shipments from the  United States facility, Fortin said that the federal government looked into it, but for now Canada’s line of doses will continue to come exclusively from the European facility.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu added that because as part of the regulatory approval granted to Pfizer, Health Canada approves the manufacturing sites as well as the vaccine itself.

“So, should we procure from even the same company a different site, then there would need to be review of the manufacturing data,” she said. 

Several federal officials sought to reassure Canadians Friday that the country remains on track to vaccinate everyone who wants to be, by the end of September.   

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Canada's coming month of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be reduced by half – CTV News

Published

 on


OTTAWA —
Over the next month Canada will be experiencing a “temporary” delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments due to the pharmaceutical giant’s expansion plans at its European manufacturing facility, with the shortage resulting in an average of 50 per cent of coming doses delayed each week.

While shipments will continue in the coming weeks, the amount of doses in them will be lessened, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of doses.

“Pfizer has confirmed that Canada’s deliveries will be impacted for the next four weeks. We will see an average reduction over this timeframe of 50 per cent of expected deliveries. There will minimal impact next week… The most profound impact will be in the week of January 25,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout. 

This setback to Canada’s short-term COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule means the number of doses going to each province and territory will have to be readjusted. Fortin said that the allocations will begin to scale back up in the first two weeks of February, before returning to the size of doses originally anticipated. 

Canada was planning on receiving between 124,800 and 366,600 Pfizer doses every week between now and the end of February, as part of the plan to have six million doses total from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of March when Phase 1 ends.

The delivery for the week of Jan. 25, which Fortin said is likely to see the largest reduction, was set to be 208,650 doses. If that’s reduced by half, Canada will receive 104,325 Pfizer doses that week, which is fewer than the forecasted allocation received this week.

“In my conversation this morning with Pfizer, it was very clear that we’re are still correct in our planning assumption to receive approximately four million doses of Pfizer by March 31,” Fortin said,

Fortin said that knew the company would at some point need to scale-up their manufacturing to ramp-up its mass production, but the news of the looming construction project was brought to the federal government’s attention in the last 24 hours, according to Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos.  

Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced the delay on Friday, saying all nations who are receiving vaccines from this Pfizer facility will be receiving fewer doses.

“It is a temporary reduction, it’s not a stoppage… We will make up those doses,” Anand said.

Addressing the setback during his Rideau Cottage address on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that shipments have largely been ahead of schedule so far, but that “with an undertaking this historic, it’s only to be expected that there will be a few bumps along the way.”

Norway, which is also receiving Pfizer doses from its Europe facilities has announced that “for some time ahead” their deliveries will be reduced. In the coming week their shipment will be reduced by approximately 18 per cent.

“The reduction is due to a reorganisation at Pfizer in connection with an upgrade of production capacity… It is not yet clear how long it will take before Pfizer is up to maximum production capacity again,” said the statement published by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

The government sought to ensure that all countries who will be impacted, will be “equitably treated” in terms of delivery reductions, according to Anand. Fortin confirmed later Friday that this will be the case, with all seeing deliveries reduced by 50 per cent on average.

Anand said that while Canada is expecting to be able to catch up, the delay is “unfortunate.”

“However such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” Anand said.

By end of the day Friday, the federal government will have distributed a total of 929,000 doses of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines, around 84 per cent of which have been administered.

WON’T IMPACT PHASE 2  

The plan is to receive “more than” one million doses of approved vaccines every week, on average, starting in April with Phase 2. 

Trudeau said that while this issue is out of Canada’s hands, the country “must still get ready for the ramp-up,” in Phase 2. 

Fortin said the delays “will not change our second quarter goals,” though he could not guarantee future delays. He said he understands and feels the “disappointment,” but “we need to move forward.”

He committed to keep all key stakeholders, and Canadians appraised of any future delivery schedule changes. 

The ongoing initial vaccination stage has seen Canada 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. 

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.

“It was with precisely these types of issues in mind that Canada pursued the aggressive procurement strategy that we did,” Anand said. “This approach of ensuring diversity and volume months ago is what now gives us flexibility and margins to remain on track in difficult times.” 

Asked whether Canada will be looking to revisit their decision to not procure additional Moderna doses to make up the shortage over the next few weeks, Fortin said the amount scheduled to arrive from that company will stay the same.

As previously reported, the additional 16 million Moderna doses that the federal government left on the table in talks with that company would not be arriving until late 2021. 

As for whether Canada looked into being able to receive Pfizer shipments from the  United States facility, Fortin said that the federal government looked into it, but for now Canada’s line of doses will continue to come exclusively from the European facility.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu added that because as part of the regulatory approval granted to Pfizer, Health Canada approves the manufacturing sites as well as the vaccine itself.

“So, should we procure from even the same company a different site, then there would need to be review of the manufacturing data,” she said. 

Several federal officials sought to reassure Canadians Friday that the country remains on track to vaccinate everyone who wants to be, by the end of September.   

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Pfizer-BioNTech delaying vaccine deliveries to Canada due to production issues – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Published

 on


The Canadian Press


Published Friday, January 15, 2021 10:13AM EST


Last Updated Friday, January 15, 2021 2:47PM EST

OTTAWA – Canada faces an “unfortunate” delay in vaccine deliveries due to Pfizer production issues in Europe, federal officials revealed Friday, chalking it up to the challenges of an unprecedented mass immunization effort while insisting most Canadians will still be vaccinated by fall.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa was “working day in and day out to get vaccines delivered as quickly as possible” but acknowledged that Pfizer-BioNTech doses have been derailed in the short-term.

Trudeau said this is why Canada has one of the most diverse vaccine portfolios in the world, pointing to seven bilateral agreements he says ensure “flexibility when it comes to supply chains.”

“I want to be very clear: this does not impact our goal to have enough vaccines available by September for every Canadian who wants one,” Trudeau said from outside Rideau Cottage.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said earlier Friday that production issues will temporarily reduce promised doses to Canada, as well as all countries that receive vaccines from Pfizer’s European facility.

While the company assured Canada it will still be able to deliver four million doses by the end of March, Anand acknowledged that is no longer guaranteed.

“This is unfortunate. However such delays and issues are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched well beyond their limits,” Anand said at a news conference.

“It’s not a stoppage.”

The immediate impact on Canada’s Pfizer-BioNTech supply was unclear.

According to the government’s website, more than 200,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were expected in each of the next two weeks and 1.4 million doses were expected in February.

Canada has received about 380,000 doses of the vaccine so far.

Pfizer Canada spokeswoman Christina Antoniou said the production facility in Puurs, Belgium is undergoing some modifications in the coming weeks to increase the number of doses it can pump out.

Pfizer hopes to double its 2021 production to two billion doses.

“Pfizer Canada will continue to pursue its efforts in anticipation that by the end of March, we will be able to catch up to be on track for the total committed doses for Q1,” Antoniou said.

The news comes as Ottawa released federal projections that suggest the pandemic may soon exceed levels seen in the first wave, rising to 19,630 cumulative deaths and 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week.

The modelling shows total cases could grow to nearly 796,630 from about 694,000, and that another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam urged sustained vigilance as a long-range forecast suggested rapid growth would continue without “quick, strong and sustained” measures.

Tam said that’s especially so in national hot spots of Quebec and Ontario, where a steady increase in hospitalizations has strained the health system’s ability to keep up with critical care demands. The projections do not take into account Quebec’s recently implemented four-week curfew or Ontario’s new stay-at-home orders.

Tam emphasized the need to reduce community spread to help relieve some of the pressure on hospitals and long-term care homes.

“The vaccine alone is not going to make a dent in some of that,” she said.

“As the older population in long-term care receive the vaccines we’re going to look very carefully to see if the serious illnesses and the deaths go down, but that’s also a factor of what’s happening in the community.”

It was an especially deadly day in Ontario, which reported 100 deaths linked to COVID-19, although that took into account a difference in database reporting between one of its health units and the province.

The province’s newly resolved tally added 46 deaths from Middlesex-London that occurred earlier in the pandemic.

Ontario also reported 2,998 new cases of COVID-19 with 800 of those new cases in Toronto, 618 in Peel Region and 250 in York Region.

Quebec reported 1,918 new COVID-19 cases and 62 more deaths, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours.

Concern also remained in Atlantic Canada’s hot spot of New Brunswick, which reported 25 new cases and remains at the province’s second-highest pandemic alert level.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending