Jan 28, 2021

By Bob Komsic

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Drug maker Pfizer is assuming Canada will agree its vaccine vials contain six doses instead of five and using that in determining how many vials will be shipped here.

Health Canada is reviewing the request to change the label indicating the number of doses in each vial and is also examining if that sixth dose can be squeezed out consistently.
While Canada has some of the special syringes needed to do that, two-million of a recent ordered are expected to arrive in one week.
In the meantime, Pfizer’s using the new six-dose formula in its allocation of vaccines through to the end of March.
The man overseeing Canada’s vaccine rollout, Major General Dany Fortin says if Canada should not agree to the label change, Pifzer will increase the number of vials to meet its deal for four-million doses.  
Earlier in the day, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Ottawa had lowered estimates from four-million to 3.5-million.  
But Fortin says Canada’s still on track to receive four-million doses in the first quarter, adding Ottawa had given the provinces more conservative figures for planning purposes, that left them thinking they’ll be out half-a-million doses.   
Meantime, Washington has agreed to buy 100-million more doses from Pfizer.
After not receiving any doses this week, the major general says Canada’s getting 149,000 over the next two weeks, but that’s still one-fifth of what had been promised before Pfizer slowed production in an effort to ramp up its Belgian operations.
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