AstraZeneca approval could double the number of people vaccinated this spring

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is supposed to get its entire order of COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca before the end of June.

Health Canada is expected to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine for use next week.

Officials would not say Thursday when the first of those doses were to arrive but Trudeau says he believes most of the 20 million doses Canada pre-ordered from the company will be delivered before Canada Day.

Those doses bring the number of Canadians who could be vaccinated in the spring to 20 million — double the number with existing vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Canada had previously said three million people could be vaccinated by the end of March and another 10 million by the end of June.

Public faith in the federal vaccine effort is plummeting as Trudeau’s refrain about Canada getting vaccines as quickly as possible runs into production issues that slashed vaccine deliveries and slowed injections to a crawl.