Benedict Huszar / Staff reporter

Early thursday February 18th, the Federal Government Released an optimistic new Covid-19 vaccination timeline. The new timeline shows that up to 14.5 million Canadians could be vaccinated by the Pfizer or Moderna shots by the end of June.

However, the current timeline is only considering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If Health Canada were to approve the Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novamax vaccines, up to 24.5 million Canadians could possibly be vaccinated by the Summer.

Shipping delays and communication errors have delayed the Canadian vaccine rollout over the past weeks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a large vaccine shipment expected Friday, February 26th should put Canada back on track for the next three weeks.

Most Canadians will not be able to receive their shots until some time between June and September. Even if none of the vaccines currently in clinical trials by Health Canada are approved there will still be enough doses from Pfizer and Moderna to complete the scheduled mass vaccination over the summer. And there should be enough doses to immunise 42 million people by the end of September.

A large spike in vaccinations is expected in early April, with 23 million new doses arriving from two pharmaceutical companies. The National Vaccine information Center is working closely with provinces and territories to make sure everybody is prepared and ready for the larger shipment sizes and storage of those vaccines.

One of the biggest difficulties with the increased shipments is the freezers needed to store the vaccines.

With the vaccines currently in testing plus the already approved vaccines, Canada would theoretically have enough to vaccinate the population of Canada twice over. The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines could also speed up the roll out because they are stored at different temperatures from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, eliminating the need for deep freezers.

Unfortunately, no vaccines have been approved for people under the age of 16 yet.

The vaccine has proven “a good increase in terms of the level of protection for residents in these types of settings, even after one dose.” said Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo in reference to questions about vaccine effective in elderly care homes.

In recent weeks the USA’s vaccine roll out has outpaced Canada’s with almost 1.4 million Americans vaccinated each day for the past week. But it hasn’t been completely smooth sailing. “I don’t think we’re a model of success.” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Krutika Kuppali in a phone interview with CTV. {I don’t know how to change hyperlinks}

News about the new vaccine rollout schedule is an optimistic turn as we head into the Spring and hopefully a safer summer for 2021.

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