Well being Canada is presently reviewing a request from Pfizer that may permit an extra dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to be extracted from every vial.
At present, every vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine gives 5 doses, however the firm is asking that Well being Canada change the label to permit for six doses per vial.
If that change is authorized, there can be fewer particular person vials despatched to Canada, though the variety of vaccine doses would keep the identical.
Confusion ensued all through a Thursday afternoon press convention as well being officers tried to make clear what number of vaccines Canada can anticipate to obtain.
Main-Normal Dany Fortin, the vp of logistics and operations on the Public Well being Company of Canada, stated that Pfizer has counted on Well being Canada approving the six dose per vial change of their planning.
The nation, although, will not be taking any potential approvals under consideration, and has primarily based their planning on every vial offering 5 doses of the vaccine.
Consequently, a number of provinces have stated that Canada will solely be receiving 3.5 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by the tip of March, somewhat than the 4 million the federal authorities has famous in the identical timeframe.
Fortin acknowledged that, no matter Well being Canada’s approval, the corporate is contractually obligated to supply 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses within the first quarter of 2021.
“Pfizer assured us 4 million doses by the tip of March,” Fortin stated.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public well being officer, famous that it’s “customary” for a bit of additional fluid to stay in a vial following a vaccination.
To have the ability to extract an additional dose per vial, Canada has ordered particular syringes that decrease vaccine waste. A complete of 40 million have been ordered, with the primary cargo set to reach subsequent week, officers stated.
Pfizer’s vaccine shipments have been delayed in latest weeks as the corporate works to broaden its European manufacturing facility.
So far, greater than 908,219 doses of authorized COVID-19 vaccines have been administered throughout Canada.