Canada’s shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be delayed by one day due to the winter storm wreaking havoc in the United States, the company has confirmed.
In an email to Global News on Tuesday, Pfizer spokesperson Christina Antoniou said the “inclement weather in the U.S. has caused a short delay of today’s planned delivery.”
She said as a result, the delivery will be delayed by one day.
According to Antiniou, the “majority” of the deliveries for this week are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, and those “remain on schedule.”
“We are doing everything we can to try and reduce the delay as much as possible and sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused,” the email read.
Canada’s Pfizer vaccines are manufactured in Belguim and are shipped to Louisville, Ky., before they are delivered to Canada by air.
In an alert posted to its website, United Parcel Service (UPS) said due to “severe weather,” it would be closing its Worldport shipping facility in Louisville.
In an emailed statement Tuesday evening, Health Canada said provinces can expect to receive their Pfizer vaccine shipments “approximately 24 to 36 hours later than their regular weekly schedule.”
“All shipments are scheduled to arrive in Canada by the end of the week, with the bulk arriving Wednesday and Thursday,” the statement read. “The National Operations Centre within the Public Health Agency of Canada is currently monitoring the situation with the manufacturer as well as with the United Parcel Service.”
Health Canada said provinces are provided with updates on the delivery schedule and quantities daily, to help “inform their decisions regarding the vaccination programs under their jurisdiction.”On Friday, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada is set to receive more than 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, with more shipments arriving throughout the first quarter of 2021.
Canada is expecting four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered by the end of March, a deadline the company said on Sunday that they are on track to meet.
Canada will receive more than 23 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna combined by the end of June, Anand said.
Under 2 per cent of Canadians vaccinated
As of Feb. 11, Health Canada said a total of 1,443,400 doses of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines had been distributed across the country.
By Tuesday afternoon, 1,277,250 doses had been administered, meaning approximately 1.71 per cent of the Canadian population had been immunized.
Despite delays from both Pfizer and Moderna in the last several weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained that every Canadian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have access to one by the end of September.