Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, then-vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. An expert in military affairs says the sudden departure of the general in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout is unlikely to have any impact on the high-profile program. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, then-vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. An expert in military affairs says the sudden departure of the general in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout is unlikely to have any impact on the high-profile program. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada to get 4.5M vaccine doses as questions swirl around immunization effort

Large influx comes as the Liberal government faces questions about who will now lead the vaccination campaign

Canada is set to receive a large infusion of COVID-19 vaccines this week, even as questions swirl around how the immunization drive will be affected by the sudden departure of the man tasked with overseeing it.

The federal government says it expects around 4.5 million doses to arrive this week thanks to planned deliveries from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Pfizer and BioNTech had been scheduled to deliver around 2 million doses this week as their vaccines continue to flow into Canada on a regular basis after early hiccups in February and March.

But the federal government says the two companies will ship an additional 1.4 million shots, which were originally slated to land next week but are now expected to arrive before the upcoming holiday weekend.

Moderna is also expected to deliver 1.1 million doses this week.

The large influx comes as the Liberal government faces questions about who will now lead the vaccination campaign after Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin was sidelined suddenly on Friday and reassigned from his role presiding over the national inoculation effort.

The Department of National Defence has said Fortin is under military investigation, but otherwise refused to provide any details. The government, meanwhile, has yet to name a replacement.

There are also ongoing questions about the government’s plans for the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

More than 655,000 shots of AstraZeneca arrived through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX on Thursday, but most provinces have temporarily paused their use for first doses amid supply issues and the potential risk of rare blood clots.

As a result, the federal government has yet to distribute those shots to the provinces, though Ottawa says it expects to still receive another 1 million doses by the end of June.

About 2.16 million Canadians had received one dose of AstraZeneca as of May 8, and those additional doses could be used to give those people a second jab.

Health Canada also continues to review the quality of 300,000 Johnson and Johnson shots that were delivered last month, but have yet to be distributed.

The doses have been held back over concerns of possible tainting at a Baltimore production facility.

Health Canada chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma told CTV on Sunday that it could be weeks before the review is complete.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

A local letter writer would appreciate if cyclists would think more about safety while riding in the area of River Road in North Langley. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: North Langley route popular with cyclists but letter writer urges caution

A road user has concerns about some of the cycling habits she’s seeing in the area of River Road

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole spoke to members of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce via a Zoom chat with chamber CEO Colleen Clark on Friday, June 11. (Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Conservative leader talks tourism, trade, SkyTrain with Langley Chamber

The virtual fireside chat included talk about childcare and the budget

Deeba Mostafaie-Mehr, Setare Maleki Rizi, and Olivia Chen Xu from R.E. Mountain Secondary are recipients of three prestigious scholarships. (Langley School District/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley STEM students shine as recipients of prestigious scholarships

Three students from R.E. Mountain Secondary recognized

The new Langley Memorial Hospital emergency room opened for its first patients on Tuesday, May 4. (Government of B.C./Special to the Langley Advance Times)
LETTER: Aldergrove woman underwhelmed with new hospital ER

New ER is nice but needs adequate staffing, local woman writes

Graduation ceremonies will look different for the class of 2021. (Black Press Media files)
Ryan’s Regards: 2021 grads deserve more than a round of applause

Students have had a difficult 15 months, incomparable to most eras other classes graduated into

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read