With Pfizer vaccines in short supply, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company to UK-based The Economist newspaper says Canada won’t achieve widespread COVID-19 vaccination until the middle of 2022.
Though Canada has signed agreements with vaccine suppliers for enough vaccines to immunize five times its population, according to the report Canada will only be able to achieve mass vaccination (60-70% of the adult population) by the middle of next year.
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) says the U.K, the United States and most countries in the EU are expected to have immunized their priority groups by the end of March, with other wealthy countries catching up by end of June 2021. The report is based on the realities as of January 22, 2021.
According to EIU, “the above map depicts the latest forecasts from The EIU for the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, reflecting the time when countries may expect to have vaccinated the majority (60-70%) of their adult population. Criteria taken into account include supply deals, production constraints, vaccine hesitancy, the size of the population, and the availability of healthcare workers. The data are also adjusted by analysts to reflect specific conditions on the ground.”
The report says even with the sheer size of their population, China and India will be able to achieve mass immunisation by late 2022.
Currently, Canada has approved only two vaccines against COVID-19 — Moderna and Pfizer.
According to reports by the Canadian Press, Pfizer has said that they will cut back on how many vials of COVID-19 vaccine they send Canada this year if the federal health regulator agrees to change the vaccine label to say every vial contains six doses instead of five. They are also assuming that Canada will agree its COVID-19 vaccine vials contain six doses instead of five and are using that to project how many vials it will send Canada in the coming weeks. If Canada agrees to the change but can’t get the six doses out of every single vial, its goal to vaccinate 20 million people with Pfizer’s 40 million doses will be impossible to meet.
Currently, Canada does not have enough small syringes capable of extracting smaller doses. Canada has some existing supply of the special syringes needed to do so and two million of a recent order for 37.5 million of them are to arrive in Canada starting Feb. 4.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that Canada’s other vaccine supplier has to cut back on its deliveries next week. Moderna will ship only about three-quarters of the expected supply, cutting Canada’s next shipment by more than 50,000 doses.