Apr 16, 2021
By Jeremy Logan
The federal government is buying more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech as it moves to offset reduction in supply from another producer.
And while it offered to help Ontario distribute its shots, the hot-spot province turned down that assistance as the premier piled on more restrictions on Friday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday a contract with Pfizer for eight million additional doses of its vaccine hours after Canada said Moderna would slash its deliveries in half through the rest of April.
The increase in Pfizer supply is coming at a time when COVID activity is rapidly spreading in parts of the country, including Canada’s most populous province.
Trudeau said the federal government will provide more relief to Ontario, including deploying the Canadian Red Cross to help with their mobile vaccination teams; setting up additional hospital beds in Toronto and Hamilton; and sending equipment and drugs.
“In many places, numbers are higher than they’ve ever been before,” Trudeau said. “And far too many hospitals are already stretched far too thin. … So we’re going to do whatever it takes to help.”
Ontario logged a record 4,812 new cases on Friday and 25 more deaths related to the virus.
Its science advisers presented stark new projections predicting daily infections could soon approach 20,000, and that extending stay-at-home orders and administering 100,000 vaccine doses per day would be needed to flatten the curve.
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