01/12/2021 12:24 EST

Canada Orders 20 Million More Pfizer Vaccine Doses To Boost Supply

The country is expected to receive 80 million vaccine doses this year.

Carlos Osorio/Reuters
Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are seen here in Toronto on Jan. 4, 2021. Canada now has agreements to receive 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine this year. 

OTTAWA — Canada has ordered an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday after provinces complained about inadequate supplies.

Trudeau told reporters that Ottawa now had agreements with Pfizer, which developed its vaccine with German partner BioNTech, and Moderna for a total of 80 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered this year.

Canada, which had initially ordered 20 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with an option for 56 million more, now has a firm deal for 40 million doses of the two-shot vaccines.

The provinces, which have responsibility for administering the vaccines, say supplies are being delivered far too slowly.

Trudeau said that between April and June, Canada would have enough doses for 20 million people. Canada’s population is just over 38 million.

Trudeau also said Canada was extending an existing ban on non-essential travel with the United States until Feb 21. The measures, which do not apply to trade flows, were first imposed last March and have been regularly rolled over.

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