A large shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be delayed to Canada, Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced on Friday.
Anand says the delay is due to production issues of the vaccine in Europe and shipments to Canada will slow in late January and early February.
Pfizer plans to increase production in late February and March. The federal government says this should keep their plans on track to have most Canadians inoculated by the end of September.
The announcement comes the same day as new modelling was released by the Public Health Agency of Canada showing a potentially sharp increase in daily cases.
The agency says that the number of daily COVID-19 cases could more than triple to 30,000 if people increase their contacts during high times of transmission.
If Canadians maintain their current levels of contact with people outside their households, cases still have the potential to rise to approximately 13,000 per day.
“We need to keep reducing in-person contacts. For the moment that’s the only way to get these numbers down,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a federal address on Friday.
“Deciding who gets an ICU bed and who doesn’t, well that’s not where we want to be. So please keep following public health guidelines and stay safe.”
The forecasted spike in cases is due mostly to recent numbers coming out of Ontario and Quebec, health officials say.
So far, Canada has received around 380,000 doses of the vaccine. Another 400,000 this month were originally expected, and the country projects nearly two million doses will be on the way in February.