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People get the COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners in Montreal on April 30, 2021.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

It’s the first spike in numbers that Canadians will want to see.

In the past four months, almost 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to Canada. In the next two months, that number is expected to more than triple.

The upward swing in shipments paves the way for provinces and territories to dramatically increase the speed and scale of their vaccination campaigns. On Thursday and Friday, several provinces moved up their timelines and opened bookings for younger groups.

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“What’s changed is the massive increase in vaccines in the next few weeks,” Major-General Dany Fortin said this week.

After months of supply disruptions, the latest numbers from the federal government show that by the first week of June, enough vaccine doses are expected to arrive in Canada to cover the first shots for all eligible Canadians. By the end of the same month, the government figures show Canada expects to have enough vaccine to also cover the second shot for about 17 million people.

The federal government has released limited information about the delivery of vaccines in the summer. However, it says that by the end of September, Canada will have received a total of at least 100 million doses. Based on that, The Globe and Mail estimates that by the end of July, the country should receive enough doses for all eligible people to be fully vaccinated.

When your wait for the shot will likely end

Based on publicly available information from the federal government, The Globe crunched the numbers to estimate when you will get your shots. Because little has been disclosed about the deliveries from Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, estimates are conservatively based on two-doses.

As of April 29, the federal government had distributed 14.7 million doses.

By early June, Canada should receive about 33 million doses, ­­­­enough for everyone eligible to get their first shot.*

Jan.

Feb.

March

April

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

By the end of July, Canada should receive about 65 million doses, enough for all second-shots.

By the end of September, Canada is expecting to receive at least 100 million doses.

* So far Health Canada has approved vaccines

for people 16 and over.

MARIEKE WALSH AND JEREMY AGIUS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

When your wait for the shot will likely end

Based on publicly available information from the federal government, The Globe crunched the numbers to estimate when you will get your shots. Because little has been disclosed about the deliveries from Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, estimates are conservatively based on two-doses.

As of April 29, the federal government had distributed 14.7 million doses.

By early June, Canada should receive about 33 million doses, ­­­­enough for everyone eligible to get their first shot.*

Jan.

Feb.

March

April

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

By the end of July, Canada should receive about 65 million doses, enough for all second-shots.

By the end of September, Canada is expecting to receive at least 100 million doses.

* So far Health Canada has approved vaccines

for people 16 and over.

MARIEKE WALSH AND JEREMY AGIUS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

When your wait for the shot will likely end

Based on publicly available information from the federal government, The Globe crunched the numbers to estimate when you will get your shots. Because little has been disclosed about the deliveries from Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, estimates are conservatively based on two-doses.

As of April 29, the federal government had distributed 14.7 million doses.

By the end of September, Canada is expecting to receive at least

100 million doses.

By early June, Canada should receive about

33 million doses, ­­­­enough for everyone eligible to get their first shot.*

By the end of July, Canada should receive about 65 million doses, enough for all second-shots.

Jan.

Feb.

March

April

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

* So far Health Canada has approved vaccines for people 16 and over.

MARIEKE WALSH AND JEREMY AGIUS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

So far, Health Canada has only approved vaccines for people 16 and older, meaning 31.6 million people are eligible.

The first phase of Canada’s vaccine rollout in the winter was punctuated by supply disruptions that led to a stumbling start. The risk for more delays was underscored on Friday with the news that Health Canada is stopping the distribution of the first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over quality concerns with part of the manufacturing process. The federal regulator says it’s seeking more information from the company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure the vaccine meets quality, safety and efficacy standards. No time frame was given for a decision from Health Canada.

Despite that uncertainty, officials are more confident of their projections for Canada’s vaccine rollout because most of it depends on Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Canada has bought 129.5 million doses

of approved vaccines

Health Canada has authorized the use of four

COVID-19 vaccines. The federal government says

at least 100 million of the doses will arrive in

Canada by September. That’s a drop from what

was previously committed, but still ensures at

least 50 million people can be fully vaccinated.

The age eligibility rules for the vaccines mean

that so far just 31.6 million of Canada’s 38 million

population canget their shots.

VACCINE (type)

DOSAGE

Pfizer/BioNTech (mRNA) 

48

Moderna (mRNA) 

44

Oxford-AstraZeneca (Adenovirus vector)*

23.9

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson

(Adenovirus vector)

10

*This includes the vaccines that Canada bought through COVAX

and from the Serum Institute of India.

MARIEKE WALSH AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Canada has bought 129.5 million doses

of approved vaccines

Health Canada has authorized the use of four COVID-19

vaccines. The federal government says at least 100 million

of the doses will arrive in Canada by September. That’s

a drop from what was previously committed, but still

ensures at least 50 million people can be fully vaccinated.

The age eligibility rules for the vaccines mean that so far

just 31.6 million of Canada’s 38 million population can

get their shots.

VACCINE (type)

DOSAGE

Pfizer/BioNTech (mRNA) 

48

Moderna (mRNA) 

44

Oxford-AstraZeneca (Adenovirus vector)*

23.9

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Adenovirus vector)

10

*This includes the vaccines that Canada bought through COVAX

and from the Serum Institute of India.

MARIEKE WALSH AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Canada has bought 129.5 million doses of approved vaccines

Health Canada has authorized the use of four COVID-19 vaccines. The federal government says

at least 100 million of the doses will arrive in Canada by September. That’s a drop from what

was previously committed, but still ensures at least 50 million people can be fully vaccinated.

The age eligibility rules for the vaccines mean that so far just 31.6 million of Canada’s 38 million

population can get their shots.

VACCINE (type)

DOSAGE

Pfizer/BioNTech (mRNA) 

48

Moderna (mRNA) 

44

Oxford-AstraZeneca (Adenovirus vector)*

23.9

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Adenovirus vector)

10

*This includes the vaccines that Canada bought through COVAX

and from the Serum Institute of India.

MARIEKE WALSH AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Pfizer is supplying 61 per cent of Canada’s shots until the end June and has been the most reliable vaccine maker: Its deliveries have arrived complete and on time each week since February. Moderna has not delivered a shipment on time since March 11, but Maj.-Gen. Fortin said Thursday the government is negotiating a more consistent schedule.

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With those two vaccines alone, Canada expects to receive 92 million doses by the end of September. However, uncertainty persists in the delivery schedule for AstraZeneca. On Friday, in a statement to The Globe, the government downgraded estimates for the total number of doses expected by the end of September, to 100 million. It previously expected all 125.9 million.

The new number is “more than enough vaccines for every Canadian to be fully vaccinated,” Procurement Minister Anita Anand said.

The overall increase in supply means that concerns about what might limit the success of Canada’s vaccination campaign shift from supply to vaccine hesitancy.

“The barrier to increasing numbers will be whether people want the vaccine. Right now, the barrier is whether they’re eligible and whether we have enough vaccines,” said Caroline Colijn, a mathematics professor and Canada 150 Research Chair at Simon Fraser University.

Proportion of population who received at least one dose of vaccine, by age group

Data as of April 24

0.17%

Dose

0-17

Male

0.26

Female

First

6.30

Second

18-29

13.90

9.55

30-39

17.80

17.33

40-49

25.65

31.99

50-59

38.14

59.38

60-69

63.36

83.81

70-79

84.73

88.27

80+

87.64

JEREMY AGIUS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

Proportion of population who received at least one dose of vaccine, by age group

Data as of April 24

Dose

0.17%

Male

0-17

0.26

Female

First

Second

6.30

18-29

13.90

9.55

30-39

17.80

17.33

40-49

25.65

31.99

50-59

38.14

59.38

60-69

63.36

83.81

70-79

84.73

88.27

80+

87.64

JEREMY AGIUS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

Proportion of population who received at least one dose of vaccine, by age group

Data as of April 24

0.17%

Dose

0-17

Male

0.26

Female

6.30

First

Second

18-29

13.90

9.55

30-39

17.80

17.33

40-49

25.65

31.99

50-59

38.14

59.38

60-69

63.36

83.81

70-79

84.73

88.27

80+

87.64

JEREMY AGIUS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts told The Globe there is a right way and a wrong way to get through this next phase of the pandemic. One leads to a summer that is similar to, or better, than last year, when patios were open and haircuts were an option. The other leads to a fourth wave that would challenge the latest one.

“I expect that there will be a fourth wave, but how severe that fourth wave will be depends on a lot of different factors. In the worst case scenario, it’s as bad and maybe even worse than what we’re experiencing now,” said Jane Heffernan, director of the Centre for Disease Modelling at York University.

“In the best-case scenario, it’s so minimal that we will barely see it.”

To avoid the worst-case scenario will require most eligible Canadians to get their shots and for case counts to drop dramatically. For people in parts of the country with rigid restrictions – such as school closings and stay-at-home orders – that also means keeping those rules until some time in June, experts suggest.

“If people can stick with the restrictions for the next six weeks … I think we can get to a summer that looks like last summer,” said Allison McGeer, an infectious disease specialist and member of Canada’s COVID-19 immunity task force.

Vaccine uptake is one key in determining how soon restrictions can start to lift. Experts are still grappling with unknowns, including how well vaccines will defend against variants, and how much more transmissible variants will be when contacts among people increase. However, modelling by Dr. Heffernan and Dr. Colijn shows that virtually all adults need to get the shot to make up for the fact that children and most teenagers don’t yet have access to vaccines.

The youngest people who can get a Health Canada authorized shot are 16, and their only option is Pfizer. The shots from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson have been approved for people 18 and older.

Vaccine makers are working on trials for younger people, and Health Canada is reviewing an application from Pfizer to include people as young as 12. If younger people become eligible, then Dr. Colijn and Dr. Heffernan say that the pressure on adults will ease.

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Surveys by the Angus Reid Institute show the level of vaccine hesitancy is dropping in Canada, but it’s still too high. Results released on Monday show that 10 per cent of Canadians will not get vaccinated and six per cent are unsure, according to the institute’s research.

“We want to be able to have a birthday party, with other people in our house. We want to go to a club. We want to go to work,” Dr. Colijn said. “For that I think we are going to need more like 90 to 95 per cent coverage.”

As the country navigates this latest phase of the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s experience is instructive, Dr. McGeer said. Like Canada, Britain opted to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccines and faced a surge driven by B.1.1.7, a faster-spreading and potentially deadlier variant of the coronavirus.

Vaccination rates in OECD countries

Doses per 100 people

Canada

G7 countries

OECD countries

April 29

Jan. 29

120

Israel has maintained the

highest rate of vaccinations

100

Chile saw one of the largest increases over the past three months

80

U.S.

Britain

60

Canada

34.8

40

Germany

,

Italy

France

20

Japan

2.5

0

Jeremy Agius/THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: OUR WORLD IN DATA

Vaccination rates in OECD countries

Doses per 100 people

Canada

G7 countries

OECD countries

April 29

Jan. 29

120

Israel has maintained the

highest rate of vaccinations

100

Chile saw one of the largest increases over the past three months

80

U.S.

Britain

60

Canada

34.8

40

Germany

,

Italy

France

20

Japan

2.5

0

Jeremy Agius/THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: OUR WORLD IN DATA

Vaccination rates in OECD countries

Doses per 100 people

Canada

G7 countries

OECD countries

April 29

Jan. 29

120

100

Israel has maintained the highest rate of vaccinations

Chile saw one of the largest increases over the past three months

80

U.S.

Britain

60

Canada

34.8

40

Germany

,

Italy

France

20

Japan

2.5

0

Jeremy Agius/THE GLOBE AND MAIL,SOURCE: OUR WORLD IN DATA

“The U.K. now is coming out of lockdown and seems to be quite stable,” Dr. McGeer said. “So I think there’s every reason to hope that things are going to get much better.”

Britain, a country of 67 million, saw infection rates skyrocket in December and January as B.1.1.7 gained a foothold, outcompeting older versions. In early January, Britain’s seven-day average of new daily cases peaked at more than 60,000. Now that average is sitting around 2,400 per day, or about 35 new cases a day per million residents. Canada, by contrast is logging an average of 211 new cases per million a day.

COVID-19 deaths in the United Kingdom have plummeted as well, from an average of about 1,300 a day in the third week of January to 16 per day now.

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Much of the international attention on Britain’s success has focused on its vaccination campaign, which has been among the fastest in the world. But British experts say the steep decline in cases had more to do with the imposition of one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world than it does with vaccines, although there are encouraging signs the shots are contributing now.

“The initial drop-off in January and February was completely lockdown-driven,” said Caroline Walters, an infectious disease modeller at Imperial College London who is working on England’s REACT study, a research project that involves about 150,000 people taking an at-home COVID-19 test every month to measure community prevalence of the coronavirus.

The REACT data showed infection rates plummeting in all age groups, Dr. Walters said, despite jabs going mostly to the elderly in the early weeks of the campaign. Now, 65 per cent of adults in England have received a first dose and 27 per cent have received a second.

The U.K. waited until infection rates were low and first-dose vaccine coverage significant before it began, slowly, to relax restrictions. In England, in-person schooling resumed on March 8. Non-essential retailers and outdoor dining reopened about three weeks ago, and many other restrictions remain.

Emily Cameron-Blake, a research assistant at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, is part of a team that developed a “stringency index” to compare the public-health measures countries have used to control the coronavirus.

In general, she said, countries that have imposed more stringent restrictions faster and for longer have had the most success in controlling COVID-19. Now the question is at what point in a vaccination campaign can those restrictions be safely lifted? Britain is just beginning to test those questions.

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“It’s too soon to see with the vaccines, to be honest,” Ms. Cameron-Blake said.

Ms. Cameron-Blake, who is originally from Prince Edward Island, will be able to judge how the reopening goes in her adopted city of Edinburgh. Scotland waited even longer than England to begin reopening. Patios at pubs and non-essential retailers were permitted to open again just this past week, on April 26.

By that point, Scotland had vaccinated more than 60 per cent of its adult population with a first dose and more than 25 per cent with a second, and effectively suppressed the virus. On Friday, Scotland, which has a population of about 5.5 million, reported just 191 new cases of COVID-19, with a test positivity rate of 1.1 per cent.

The Greater Toronto Area, with a population only slightly larger than Scotland’s, reported 2,677 cases on Friday, and about a third of all adults vaccinated with at least a first dose.

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