COVID-19 Update for January 15 – 10:30AM

This morning, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand, announced that Pfizer is temporarily reducing shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference. Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Tam, also provided updated modelling data for the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Pfizer Vaccine Delay
Pfizer is temporarily reducing shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to all countries that receive vaccines produced at its European facility, including Canada. This is due to work to expand its European manufacturing capacity impacting production of the vaccine.

Anand was emphatic in reassuring Canadians that the country was on track to have enough approved vaccines to vaccinate all willing Canadians by the end of September 2021. She also repeated that Pfizer believed that it would be able to “catch up” by the end of March to be on track for the total committed doses for Q1.

Modelling Data Update
Dr. Tam and Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Njoo, provided updated modelling data. Dr. Tam revealed that the daily case count “far exceeds” the numbers seen during the peak of the first wave and warned that “unless public health measures are further intensified, we will not be able to sufficiently suppress the current rate of epidemic growth.” Long-term forecasting shows that Canada is on track to see 10,000 cases a day by the end of January.

Ontario and Quebec continue to drive a significant portion of the country’s increasing case count. To date, there have been 23 cases of the B117 UK variant and two cases of the 501Y.V2 South African variant reported in Canada.

Other pandemic markers such as hospitalization and ICU admission rates continue to rise, and Dr. Tam warned that continuing with the present level of elective procedures will become increasingly difficult should case numbers continue to grow at the current rate.

The full presentation given by the public health officials this morning can be found here.

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