Canada Secures 20-Million More Doses of Pfizer Vaccine

US releases millions of COVID-19 doses and urges states to include more people

As part of efforts to expand access to Covid vaccines, the federal government will allow makers to release all their available doses instead of reserving booster shots, the U.S. health secretary said Tuesday.

Last week, President-elect Joe Biden's spokesman said that Biden, who takes office next week, would accelerate distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and jump-start lagging inoculations by releasing more doses.

Public health officials say the pace is picking up somewhat - nearly 9 million people have received their first dose according to CDC data - but experts say the pace needs to increase and that state and local jurisdictions need more resources and support to resolve the bottleneck.

That's enough to vaccinate the entire Canadian population with the two doses required for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna products.

Canada is experiencing a post-holiday surge in daily new cases, and provinces are warning that they are administering doses faster than they are being delivered.

Trudeau told reporters that Ottawa now had agreements with Pfizer, which developed its vaccine with German partner BioNTech, and Moderna Inc for a total of 80 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered this year.

The federal government published a delivery schedule this week that includes shipment dates and the number of doses expected to be delivered to the provinces and territories until the end of February.

"This will make sure that they have the vaccines and the information they need to keep rolling out doses as quickly, as smoothly, and as efficiently as possible", he said.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending states expand COVID-19 access to everyone ages 65 and older even as it announces changes that could practically double the vaccine supply.

Biden was administered a second shot of the two-part Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, three weeks after receiving his first injection.

BioNTech will offer its coronavirus vaccine to all its employees, it said on Monday, sidestepping Germany's official inoculation programme in what it said was a bid to protect its supply chain from COVID-19 outbreaks.



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