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Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube, left, and Daniel Pare, director of the province's COVID-19 vaccine program, watch an employee simulate a vaccination at the CAE plant in Montreal on March 19, 2021.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Aviation-training specialist CAE said on Friday it will be ready to host mass COVID-19 vaccinations as early as Easter, becoming one of the first major Canadian publicly traded companies to carry out inoculations of workers and the public.

Canadian manufacturers have warned that a slower vaccine rollout in Canada could put them at a competitive disadvantage with companies south of the border, with employees in the United States working in industries such as auto plants now being inoculated.

Montreal-based CAE is partnering with the province of Quebec to transform offices at its own cost into a vaccination center to inoculate workers of all ages, their family members and the surrounding community to support a provincial ramp-up in May and June, Health Minister Christian Dubé told reporters.

CAE Chief Executive Marc Parent said the company would follow government directives on vaccination priority and would not favor company workers over the public.

Quebec has set a goal of offering a first dose to all its residents by June 24.

Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson: Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get in Canada?

Canada pre-purchased millions of doses of seven different vaccine types, and Health Canada has approved four so far for the various provincial and territorial rollouts. All the drugs are fully effective in preventing serious illness and death, though some may do more than others to stop any symptomatic illness at all (which is where the efficacy rates cited below come in).

PFIZER-BIONTECH

  • Also known as: Comirnaty
  • Approved on: Dec. 9, 2020
  • Efficacy rate: 95 per cent with both doses in patients 16 and older, and 100 per cent in 12- to 15-year-olds
  • Traits: Must be stored at -70 C, requiring specialized ultracold freezers. It is a new type of mRNA-based vaccine that gives the body a sample of the virus’s DNA to teach immune systems how to fight it. Health Canada has authorized it for use in people as young as 12.

MODERNA

  • Also known as: SpikeVax
  • Approved on: Dec. 23, 2020
  • Efficacy rate: 94 per cent with both doses in patients 18 and older, and 100 per cent in 12- to 17-year-olds
  • Traits: Like Pfizer’s vaccine, this one is mRNA-based, but it can be stored at -20 C. It’s approved for use in Canada for ages 12 and up.

OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA

  • Also known as: Vaxzevria
  • Approved on: Feb. 26, 2021
  • Efficacy rate: 62 per cent two weeks after the second dose
  • Traits: This comes in two versions approved for Canadian use, the kind made in Europe and the same drug made by a different process in India (where it is called Covishield). The National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s latest guidance is that its okay for people 30 and older to get it if they can’t or don’t want to wait for an mRNA vaccine, but to guard against the risk of a rare blood-clotting disorder, all provinces have stopped giving first doses of AstraZeneca.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON

  • Also known as: Janssen
  • Approved on: March 5, 2021
  • Efficacy rate: 66 per cent two weeks after the single dose
  • Traits: Unlike the other vaccines, this one comes in a single injection. NACI says it should be offered to Canadians 30 and older, but Health Canada paused distribution of the drug for now as it investigates inspection concerns at a Maryland facility where the active ingredient was made.

How many vaccine doses do I get?

All vaccines except Johnson & Johnson’s require two doses, though even for double-dose drugs, research suggests the first shots may give fairly strong protection. This has led health agencies to focus on getting first shots to as many people as possible, then delaying boosters by up to four months. To see how many doses your province or territory has administered so far, check our vaccine tracker for the latest numbers.

Air Canada, Bombardier Inc and Aéroports de Montréal are in joint talks with Quebec to run a vaccination site, although details are not finalized, representatives for the Montreal-based airline and corporate planemaker said.

Canada has wrestled with a slower rollout of vaccines than other countries due to a lack of domestic production, with just 8 per cent of its population receiving at least one dose compared with 23 per cent in the U.S.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set a September target for having all Canadian adults vaccinated, while President Joe Biden has told U.S. states to make all adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by May 1.

Canada is currently vaccinating older residents, but some provinces like British Columbia have said they would begin inoculating agricultural workers, including temporary foreign workers.

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