‘Canada doesn’t have target date for J&J vax deliveries’

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A security officer wearing a face mask checks customers' health screening results at the entrance of CF Toronto Eaton Center in Toronto, Canada, on March 8, 2021. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the country still does not have a target date for first deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine because of manufacturing problems.

“We have heard in many conversations with Johnson & Johnson that there are challenges around the production of the Janssen vaccine, but we will continue to engage with them, and we look forward to receiving doses as soon as possible,” Trudeau said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

The vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Belgium’s Beerse and owned by US multinational corporation Johnson & Johnson, only requires one shot and does not need ultra-cold storage, reports Xinhua news agency.

Canada has been assessing the vaccine since November 30, 2020, and approved the use of it last week, following the emergency use authorization of vaccines from three producers, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

The country has pre-ordered 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Vaccine deliveries in the country slowed down dramatically in February, but then stepped up this month.

Almost 1 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines were delivered last week, and 910,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are arriving this week, according to local media reports.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 1.9 million Canadians had received at least one dose, the reports said.

Canada has so far reported 893,518 coronavirus cases and 22,304 deaths, and confirmed 2,663 variant infections.