Delivery delays | Novartis helps Pfizer-BioNTech

Grant Boone
January 30, 2021

Health Canada is now reviewing a request from Pfizer that would allow an additional dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to be extracted from each vial. The agreement will see Novartis utilising its aseptic manufacturing facilities at its site in Stein, Switzerland, a note from Novartis said.

Novartis's announcement that it was joining the push to remedy the shortfall follows a move by Sanofi this week to work with Biontech to supply 125 million doses of its mRNA vaccine to the European Union.

Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says Health Canada is still reviewing the request to formally change the label on the vials and is examining whether that sixth dose can be extracted consistently.

While the Pfizer vaccines have been delayed, Trudeau said shipment of the Moderna vaccine remains on schedule.

Bourla said the company is working to ensure it can produce a high efficacy vaccine in 100 days or less, a radically sped up development timeline.

The Globe and Mail reported Canada is expecting to get 56 per cent fewer Pfizer doses from January 18 to February 21.

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Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, for his part, presented a report on the peace process in Afghanistan. There are now only 2,500 American troops left in the war-torn country.

Earlier in the day, government sources in Alberta told Global News that Ottawa has informed the province that Pfizer-BioNTech deliveries to Canada will be cut by 13 percent - the 500,000 doses Elliott mentioned.

Ministry of Health workers practice transferring vials filled with saline water to an ultra-low temperature freezer in a dry run on delivery of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine from the manufacturing plant to Belaga, Sarawak.

Those syringes are not as common as the three- and five-millilitre syringes mostly used in Canada's vaccine campaign now, and the smaller ones have become the latest hot commodity of COVID-19.

The use of the vaccine that Pfizer-BioNTech has developed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic has been authorized in some 50 countries, including Canada.

Johnson and Johnson says its single-dose vaccine is 85 per cent effective against severe illness a month after the injection is given, and 66 per cent effective against both moderate and severe illness.

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