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

Tammy Bradford, manager of the Creston Museum & Archives for the last 23 years, wants to welcome visitors to check out their exhibits and programs this summer. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston Museum encourages summer visitors to check out programs and activities

After some temporary closures of indoor exhibits due to COVID-19, the museum has re-opened to welcome visitors

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Nasukin Jason Louie of the Lower Kootenay Band poses under the mural in the administration building. The mural depicts past elders David Luke, Wilfred Jacobs, Isobel Louie, Charlotte Basil, and Louis White. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Lower Kootenay Band announces cross-border COVID-19 vaccine clinic

In partnership with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the clinic will be held on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

An old-growth stand pictured in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over six feet in diameter and many centuries old. (Photo courtesy of John Schoen)
E-Tips: Stop Deforestation

Trees are one of the regulators of our planet’s climate

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

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

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

“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

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read