The distribution timetable is going according to plans, and administration points for the vaccine will slowly be increased to some 200, starting this week, Fortin said on the Rosemary Barton Live morning show.

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“The intent here is to ensure that we continue to have regular drip feed of vaccines in the coming weeks,” with 249,000 doses expected to be in Canada by the end of the year, he said.

Canada is expected to approve a second vaccine from Moderna “reasonably soon” and the country will be ready to accept shipments of it by the end of the week, Fortin said.

On the same show Supriya Sharma, senior medical adviser at Health Canada, said review of the Moderna vaccine was ongoing and a regulatory decision could come before the end of the year.

Officials have said they expect to receive 6 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines before the end of March. Each vaccine requires two doses, given about three weeks apart.

Forecasting a rapid acceleration of spread of the novel coronavirus during the second wave, Canada’s federal health authorities on Friday called for provinces to impose more health restrictions heading into the holidays.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam, left, and Major-General Dany Fortin, second from left, join other members of the vaccine distribution task force during a rehearsal of a concept drill for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ottawa.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam, left, and Major-General Dany Fortin, second from left, join other members of the vaccine distribution task force during a rehearsal of a concept drill for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ottawa. Credit:AP

The country has had 454,852 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 6,011 new infections reported on Saturday. On Friday, health officials said Canada could see 12,000 new cases per day by January.

On the same show Supriya Sharma, senior medical adviser at Health Canada, said review of the Moderna vaccine was ongoing and that important data was expected later this week.

She also outlined guidance about potential allergic reactions to the Pfizer shot after reports of two such incidents on the first day of vaccinations in Britain.

On Saturday, Canada said anyone with vaccine allergies should not take the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

“If you have an allergy to a vaccine or this vaccine or any components of the vaccine, you should not get it,” Sharma said. “But if you have other allergies, you can go ahead and get vaccinated.”

Health Canada will be monitoring people who are inoculated for adverse reactions or side effects, she said.

Officials have said they expect to receive 6 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines before the end of March. Each vaccine requires two doses, given about three weeks apart.

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