As Canada continues its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that the government has secured 35 million Pfizer booster shots for 2022.
Another 30 million Pfizer vaccines have been secured for 2023, he told reporters at a press conference.
“Pfizer has been a solid partner for Canada in this fight against COVID-19, and we’re happy to be one of the first countries to secure an agreement with them going forward,” Trudeau said.
The deal includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024, he added.
Canada expects to get every adult vaccinated fully — with both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines or one shot of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson — by the end of September at the latest.
Teenagers likely will be vaccinated by then as well, but vaccines for kids under 12 aren’t expected to be authorized until at least the fall.
Still, many experts believe additional booster shots are going to be necessary, either to remind the immune system what it needs to do, or protect against some new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Health Canada has initiated a plan to authorize boosters without the same extensive testing required to approve the original vaccines, similar to how flu shots are authorized each year after being adjusted for the new strain of flu virus believed to be dominant.
Canada has already purchased 117.6 million doses of the four vaccines authorized, which could fully vaccinate all Canadians once, and about half the population twice.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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