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Trudeau speaks to Pfizer CEO as delays to vaccine shipments get worse – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



MIa Rabson, The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, January 21, 2021 4:39PM EST

Last Updated Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:00PM EST

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla by phone Thursday, the same day the company informed Canada delays to its shipments of COVID-19 vaccines are going to be even worse than previously thought.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander now overseeing the vaccine logistics for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said last week a factory expansion at Pfizer’s Belgium plant was going to slow production, cutting Canada’s deliveries over four weeks in half.

In exchange, Pfizer expects to be able to ship hundreds of millions more doses worldwide over the rest of 2021.

Tuesday, Fortin said Canada would receive 80 per cent of the previously expected doses this week, nothing at all next week, and about half the promised deliveries in the first two weeks of February.

Thursday, he said the doses delivered in the first week of February will only be 79,000, one one-fifth of what was once expected. Fortin doesn’t know yet what will come the week after, but overall, Canada’s doses over three weeks are going to be just one-third of what had been planned.

Trudeau has been under pressure to call Bourla, as the delayed doses force provinces to cancel vaccination appointments and reconsider timing for second doses.

Fortin said some provinces may be hit even harder than others because of limits on the way the Pfizer doses can be split up for shipping. The vaccine is delicate and must be kept ultra frozen until shortly before injecting it. The company packs and ships specialized coolers, with GPS thermal trackers, directly to provincial vaccine sites.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said earlier this week he doesn’t blame the federal government for the dose delays but wanted Trudeau to do more to push back about it.

“If I was in (Trudeau’s) shoes … I’d be on that phone call every single day. I’d be up that guy’s yin-yang so far with a firecracker he wouldn’t know what hit him,” he said of Pfizer’s executives.

Trudeau informed Ford and other premiers of the call with Bourla during a regular teleconference to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. Until Thursday, all calls between the federal cabinet and Pfizer had been handled by Procurement Minister Anita Anand.

Ford also spoke to Pfizer Canada CEO Cole Pinnow Wednesday.

Trudeau didn’t suggest the call with Bourla made any difference to the delays, and noted Canada is not the only country affected.

Europe, which on the weekend thought its delayed doses would only be for one week after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke to Bourla, now seems poised to be affected longer. Italy is so angry it is threatening to sue the U.S.-based drugmaker for the delays.

Mexico said this week it is only getting half its expected shipment this week and nothing at all for the next three weeks. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also reported delays getting doses. Pfizer Canada spokeswoman Christina Antoniou said more countries were affected but wouldn’t say which ones.

Fortin said Pfizer has promised to deliver four million doses to Canada by the end of March and that is not going to change with the delay. With the current known delivery schedule, the company will have to ship more than 3.1 million doses over 7 1/2 weeks to meet that commitment.

Deliveries from Moderna, the other company that has a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada, are not affected. Canada has received about 176,000 doses from Moderna to date, with deliveries arriving every three weeks.

Moderna has promised two million doses by the end of March.

Both vaccines require first doses and then boosters several weeks later for full effectiveness. Together Pfizer and Moderna intend to ship 20 million doses to Canada in the spring, and 46 million between July and September. With no other vaccines approved, that means Canada will get enough doses to vaccinate the entire population with two doses by the end of September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021.

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COVID-19: BC seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8 – Victoria News – Victoria News



B.C. seniors born in 1931 or earlier will be first up for the COVID-19 community vaccination program, with registration for appointments starting next week, public health officials said Monday.

Anticipating a huge demand from seniors living at home and their relatives for the coronavirus vaccine, the province has arranged a rolling schedule by age for people to contact their regional health authority for appointments. It begins with people aged 90 and up booking appointments starting March 8, with appointments starting March 15. Then 85 and up can call starting March 15, with vaccinations starting March 22. People aged 80 and up or their relatives can call starting March 22, with vaccinations starting March 29.

Phone numbers will be activated starting March 8, officials said at a news conference March 1. Health authority call centre information and a step-by-step process are available on the provincial website at and also on websites for Fraser Health, Interior Health, Northern Health, Island Health and Vancouver Coastal Health. Relatives or friends of elderly people are allowed to call for appointments on their behalf when they are eligible.

The Fraser Health region, with more people and more seniors than the other four B.C. regions, will have online bookings available as well, in an effort to ease a rush of phone calls that provincial call centre staff may be unable to keep up with at first.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said almost complete vaccination of staff and residents in long-term care and assisted living facilities has provided almost blanket protection for frail elderly residents, and immunization is nearing completion for remote Indigenous communities. Indigenous people aged 65 are included in the community vaccination program set for those 80 and up in the general population, due to higher risk that has been shown.

RELATED: Ottawa hoping AstraZeneca vaccine starts arriving this week

RELATED: U.S. Senator asks Biden to reconsider Canadian border limits

Callers are urged to wait until their age group is eligible for appointments, and have the necessary information ready: First and last name, date of birth, postal code, B.C. personal health number, and contact information (email or mobile phone number of the senior or support person). People will be given a list of clinics close to home.

Officials warn everyone that health authority call centres will never ask for a social insurance number, driver’s licence number or banking and credit card details. If anyone asks for that, hang up immediately and contact your local health authority.

Henry said Health Canada’s approval of a third vaccine from AstraZeneca may allow an earlier vaccination date for people under age 80, assuming the delivery dates for all manufacturers are met. First shipments of that vaccine will be targeted to paramedics and other first responders not yet reached by the first stages of protection for health care workers and seniors.

“This is a vaccine that is fridge-stable, which means we can use it in the community in a much more agile way,” Henry said.

Results from first doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are better than expected, and have allowed the province to extend the time between doses up to four months, Henry said.


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COVID-19 Today: A look at the numbers for Newmarket, York Region, Ontario –



Newmarket (reported Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.)

  • 1,596 cases of COVID-19 
  • 2 more cases since Feb. 27
  • 33 (+1) variant cases
    • 2 (+0) B.1.1.7. U.K.; local transmission
    • 31 (+1) lineage not yet determined; 21 (+1) close contact, 5 (-1) local transmission, 5 workplace
  • 1,512 (+6) cases resolved (94%)
  • 47 (-3) active cases
  • 0 more deaths, totalling 37
  • 7 (+1) hospitalized, 1 (+0) in ICU
  • 5 (+0) institutional outbreaks
    • Outbreak #2 declared Feb. 26 at Amica Newmarket Retirement Home (1 health-care worker)
    • Outbreak #2 declared Feb. 22 at Eagle Terrace Long-term Care Home (4 staff)
    • Outbreak declared Feb. 19 at Inn From the Cold (1 resident, 1 staff)
    • Outbreak declared Feb. 3 at The Newmarket Residence (54 residents, 10 staff)
    • Outbreak #3 Jan. 4 at Southlake Regional Health Centre (27 patients, 16 health-care workers)
  • 3 (+0) school surveillances
    • Surveillance #2 declared Feb. 26 at Dr. J.M. Denison Secondary School (1 staff)
    • Surveillance declared Feb. 26 at Poplar Bank School (1 student)
    • Surveillance #2 declared Feb. 25 at Denne Public School (1 staff)
  • 1 (+0) child care outbreak
    • Outbreak declared Feb. 6 at Brightpath Newmarket (5 children, 5 staff)
  • 0 (-1) workplace outbreak
  • 37 (-2) new cases in last 7 days
  • 281 tests on Feb. 25, 5 positive (1.8% positivity) update N/A

The Nitty Gritty

  • 742 (+2) cases close contact, or 46%
  • 311 (+0) cases institutional outbreak, or 20%
  • 389 (+2) cases community transmission, or 24%
  • 11 (-1) cases under investigation, or 1%
  • 40 (+0) cases travel, or 3%
  • 91 (+0) cases workplace outbreak, or 6%
  • 395 (+1) cases age 19 to 34, 25%
  • 277 (+0) cases age 35 to 44, or 17%
  • 239 (+0) cases age 45 to 54, or 15%
  • 205 (+1) cases age 55 to 64, or 13%
  • 143 (+0) cases age 65 to 79, or 9%
  • 118 (+0) cases age 80+, or 8%
  • 103 (+0) cases age 4 to 13, or 7%
  • 79 (+1) cases age 14 to 18, or 5%
  • 37 (+0) cases age 0 to 3, or 2%

York Region (reported Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.) at red control zone

  • 28,829 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • 66 new cases since Feb. 27
  • 617 (+20) variant cases
    • 79 (+0) B.1.1.7 U.K.
    • 538 (+20) lineage not yet determined 
  • 27,509 (+104) cases resolved (95%)
  • 796 (-42) active cases
  • 0 more deaths, totalling 524
  • 137 (+5) cases are hospitalized, 25 (+1) patients in ICU 
  • 380 (+1) workplace outbreaks, 15 (+0) active, 3,120 (+1) cases 

Recovery Measures

Cases in schools, child care centres

  • 59 (+0) school outbreaks, 2 (+0) active
  • 409 (+5) school surveillances, 30 (+5) active
  • 59 (+0) child care outbreaks, 3 (+0) active
  • 1,161 (+8) total school and child care cases
  • 789 (+5) student/children cases
  • 372 (+3) staff cases

Institutional Outbreaks

  • 260 (+1) institutional outbreaks, 26 (+1) active
    • Outbreak #5 declared Feb. 27 at Revera Elginwood LTC, Richmond Hill (1 health-care worker)

Nitty Gritty

  • 14,838 (+106) cases, or 51%, close contact
  • 8,493 (+33)  cases, or 29%, community transmission
  • 3,051 (+2) cases, or 11%, institutional outbreak
  • 238 (-29) cases, or 1%, under investigation
  • 454 (+3) cases, or 2%, travel
  • 1,575 (+12) cases, or 5%, workplace outbreak
  • 7,484 (+14) cases age 19 to 34, or 26%
  • 4,908 (+7) cases age 45 to 54, or 17%
  • 4,356 (+14) cases age 55 to 64, or 15%
  • 4,020 (+7) cases ages 35 to 44, or 14%
  • 2,651 (+6) cases age 65 to 79, or 9%
  • 1,708 (+1) cases age 80+, or 6%
  • 1,742 (+10) cases age 4 to 13, or 6%
  • 1,451 (+3) cases age 14 to 18, or 5%
  • 509 (+0) cases age 0 to 3, or 2%

Around the region:

  • Vaughan 12,144 (+31) cases, 307 (-21) active
  • Markham 7,572 (+14) cases, 190 (-5) active
  • Richmond Hill 3,774 (+15) cases, 145 (+2) active
  • Newmarket 1,596 (+2) cases, 47 (-3) active
  • East Gwillimbury 617 (+0) cases, 29 (-1) active
  • Aurora 939 (+2) cases, 24 (-1) active
  • Georgina 672 (+1) cases, 21 (-6) active
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville 810 (+1) cases, 20 (-5) active
  • King 645 (+0) cases, 12 (-2) active

Ontario (reported at 10:30 a.m. on March 1, for Feb. 28)

  • 301,839 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • 1,023 new cases since Feb. 27
  • 565 (+7) variant cases
    • 535 (+7) U.K. variant
    • 27 (+0) South African variant
    • 3 (+10 Brazilian variant
  • 6 more deaths, totalling 6,986
  • 284,283 resolved 94.2% of cases
  • 659 (+32) cases are hospitalized; 280 (-9) in ICU; 175 (-10) on ventilators (*about 10% of hospitals did not submit data)
  • 35,015 more tests completed, with 13,416 awaiting results
  • 2.3% positivity Feb. 25


  • 17,424 daily doses administered Feb. 28
  • 704,695 total doses
  • 263,214 completed (people fully vaccinated)

Cases in children, youth

  • 6,772 (+57) cases ages 4 to 8
  • 9,091 (+47) cases ages 9 to 13
  • 9,548 (+59) cases ages 14 to 17

Institutional Outbreaks

  • 1,275 (+1) outbreaks at long-term care homes, 91 (-5) active
  • 753 (+0) outbreaks at retirement homes, 57 (-4) active
  • 416 (+1) outbreaks at hospitals, 31 (-4) active
  • 3,865 (+1) long-term care resident deaths
  • 14,958 (+0) cases are long-term care residents

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35000 Eligible Residents Already Pre-Registered for COVID Vaccine, Two New Cases Identified in Eastern NL – VOCM



There are two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province today.

Both are in the Eastern Health region and involve people under the age of 20 who are contacts of previous cases.

Eleven people are in hospital with the virus. There have been 27 new recoveries for a total of 236 active cases in Newfoundland and Labrador.

A previous case reported on February 22, has turned out to be a false positive.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says there has been great interest in preregistration for those 70 and older for the COVID vaccine. She says there’s been good uptake with over 35,000 people already pre-registered.

Those with access to the internet are encouraged to fill out the form online and help others who may need assistance. Or you may call 1-833-668-3930 or 709-273-3930 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

In the meantime, Fitzgerald is strongly discouraging people from non-essential travel in and out of the metro region while it remains in Alert Level 5. Visits to the cabin or a snowmobile run are not considered to be essential, she suggests.

NL Reviewing AstraZeneca Vaccine Following Health Canada Approval

(Vaccine illustration courtesy AstraZeneca.)

The province is still reviewing the evidence surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine, which received Health Canada approval late last week.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says the vaccine meets Health Canada’s standards for safety and efficacy and quality.

The vaccine is effective in preventing serious illness as a result of COVID-19 says Fitzgerald and they’re still reviewing the evidence to see where it will fit into the province’s strategy.

Premier Andrew Furey expressed optimism knowing that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “not too far behind” in getting Health Canada approval.

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