Ottawa inks deal with Pfizer for millions of COVID-19 booster shots through 2024
OTTAWA -- In their latest procurement efforts, the federal government has reached a deal with Pfizer to secure 35 million COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for next year and 30 million for the year after.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at a press conference on Friday, stating that the agreement includes options for an additional 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and 60 million more in 2024.
“Pfizer has been a solid partner for Canada in this fight against COVID-19 and we are happy to be one of the first countries to secure an agreement with them going forward,” said Trudeau, adding that the boosters will reflect the latest virus research and testing.
This means Canada has guaranteed access to 65 million doses, with the ability to tap into 120 million more if necessary.
“In addition to providing booster vaccine doses, the agreement provides flexibility to procure future COVID-19 vaccine formulations from Pfizer, such as those to protect against variants of concern and vaccines developed for children,” reads a government press release.
Trudeau said his team is also in discussions with other vaccine manufactures about their plans to develop booster shots, while at the same time working on bolstering Canada’s capacity to produce vaccines domestically.
As the government prepares for the future, the country is still battling a turbulent third wave with the only remedy being more vaccines in more arms.
Just over 27 per cent of eligible Canadians have received at least their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CTVNews.ca's vaccine tracker. In total, 11,396,492 doses have been administered across the country.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading the logistics of Canada’s rollout, said on Thursday that next week Canada will see shipments from three manufacturers, with doses coming from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Next week’s deliveries include 1,019,070 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 650,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Should all shipments arrive on time, the plan is to get the batches out to provinces and territories to use by early May.
Asked whether the booster shot agreement means Canadians will be receiving COVID-19 shots well into 2024, Trudeau said it’s more of a precautionary measure in case of future outbreaks.
“In terms of looking forward to booster shots, I think Canadians expect us to be ready for whatever happens and there is certainly a hope that booster shots might not be necessary, but we are much better off to ensure that we are prepared in case they are,” he said.
With files from CTV News’ Rachel Aiello.