Canadian health officials have announced that Pfizer will temporarily be reducing its shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to Canada.
Anita Anand, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, made the announcement at a press conference on Friday.
The reduction in delivery is due to Pfizer working to expand its European manufacturing capacity.
“Production [of] the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be impacted for a short period,” said Anand. “This expansion work means that Pfizer is temporarily reducing deliveries to all countries receiving vaccines manufactured at its European facility.”
“And that includes Canada.”
Anand stressed that this will be a temporary delay and that Canada remains on track to have enough approved vaccines for everyone by the end of September.
She called the situation “unfortunate,” but noted that such delays are to be expected when global supply chains are stretched.
The minister reiterated that Canada has deals with seven vaccine manufacturers, which were made with interruptions such as this in mind. Canada has the largest number of doses per capita of any country in the world, she said.
“This approach of ensuring diversity and volume months ago is what now gives us flexibility and margins to remain on track in difficult times,” Anand said. “This is a temporary situation.”
On January 12, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government would be purchasing an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.