OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada has ordered an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer Inc’s coronavirus vaccine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday after provinces complained about inadequate supplies.
Trudeau told reporters that Ottawa now had agreements with Pfizer, which developed its vaccine with German partner BioNTech, and Moderna Inc for a total of 80 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered this year.
Canada, which had initially ordered 20 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with an option for 56 million more, now has a firm deal for 40 million doses of the two-shot vaccines.
Canada’s 10 provinces, which have responsibility for administering the vaccines, say supplies are being delivered far too slowly.
Trudeau said that between April and June, Canada would have enough doses for 20 million people. Canada’s population is just over 38 million.
Trudeau also said Canada was extending an existing ban on non-essential travel with the United States until Feb 21. The measures, which do not apply to trade flows, were first imposed last March and have been regularly rolled over.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bill Berkrot)