Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has secured an extra 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, saying a faster rollout is the key to returning to some version of normality.
He says that means Canada will receive 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year.
He also says that between now and sometime between April and June, Canada will have enough doses to vaccinate up to 20 million people against the deadly coronavirus.
The news comes as Ontario said its health system will be overwhelmed and deaths from COVID-19 will exceed those in the first wave unless there is a significant reduction in contacts between residents.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to COVID-19, but the country remains on an “ever-worsening trajectory.”
Tam says the months ahead might be harder than what the country has experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.
She says there have now been more than 668,000 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 17,086 deaths, according to national figures updated Monday evening.
Tam also says there is now an average of more than 8,100 new cases reported daily.