Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that Pfizer will double the amount of vaccines it will ship to Canada next month and announced that the Red Cross is ready to help Ontario with its vaccination campaign amid a wave. Inflaming infections.
The epidemic is especially prevalent in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, Trudeau said, where record numbers of patients fill hospital intensive care beds.
Ontario has requested more support. I can tell you today that we are ready to deploy the Canadian Red Cross to help their mobile vaccination teams. The goal is to take doses to people where the situation is more serious.
A spokesman for the Ontario prime minister denied the government had requested help.
While we appreciate the prime minister’s offer, unless it is accompanied by increased supplies, we do not need the Red Cross at the moment for vaccinations in Ontario. “We don’t have a capacity problem, and we have a supply problem,” Ivana Yelich, a spokeswoman for the provincial prime minister, said.
But Ontario has asked other provinces to send nurses and other health workers. In a message to all provinces and territories, the Ontario government indicated that it needs thousands of nurses. She also asked Deputy Health Secretary Helen Angus if her counterparts had additional resources. His message says the pandemic has pushed the capacity of hospitals, especially intensive care units, to the limit.
Angus estimated that Ontario will need 4,145 hospital nurses in the next four months.
“We expect the need for this important support for four months after the expected peak of the third wave,” he wrote.
Trudeau said this is the last and most difficult phase of the pandemic, but he announced that Canada will receive an additional 4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in May, another 2 million doses in June and another 2 million doses in July.
With these additions, the country of 38 million will receive 24 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine through the end of June. Meanwhile, Moderna said it will ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million doses.
Canada will receive its first shipment of Johnson & Johnson this month – 300,000 doses.