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Pfizer to speed up vaccine shipments to Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauBiden to record video message for 'Vax Live' concert Pranksters trick Canadian lawmakers with fake Navalny aide: report Trudeau voices 'tremendous confidence' in AstraZeneca vaccine after first Canadian death linked to shot MORE on Tuesday announced that Pfizer will be speeding up its coronavirus vaccine deliveries to the country, with 5 million more doses in June than previously anticipated. 

Trudeau delivered the news in a press briefing, adding that the country expects to receive 1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech inoculation per week through the end of May. This number will increase to 2 million per week through the end of June, he added.

“That’s going to make a big difference,” Trudeau said, adding that the Pfizer doses come in addition to the ones provided by Moderna and AstraZeneca. 

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“A lot of doses being delivered means a lot of people who are able to get their shot,” the Canadian leader continued. “Every dose makes a difference.” 

The new plans mean that by the end of June, Canada will have a total of 44 million doses, and by the end of the summer, it is likely that “everyone would have received two doses,” Trudeau said Tuesday. 

He went on to note that the government has shared the new anticipated delivery schedules with provinces and territories, “so they can continue to plan for mass vaccination sites to get you and your family protected as soon as possible.” 

The increased distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine follows a setback with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, with Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on Monday recommending against using the vaccination in adults under 55 while potential links to blood clots are "investigated further.” 

The NACI in a press release said that those who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine should be made aware of potential side effects and symptoms of blood clots, which include shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling and persistent abdominal pain. 

The provinces of Quebec, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island had already suspended use of AstraZeneca for those ages 55 and under due to concerns over blood clots. 

Several European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, had temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but many have since resumed use after the European Medicines Agency, Europe’s top drug regulator, confirmed that the vaccine was safe and effective. 

According to data from the Canadian government, roughly 9 percent of the overall population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with nearly 60 percent of those ages 80 and older already with at least one dose.