Canada to receive 7M Moderna vaccine doses in June: Anand

After weeks of negotiating Moderna’s vaccine shipment schedule to Canada, the federal government says that seven million doses will arrive in the month of June starting next week.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Wednesday that the shipment will include, for the first time, doses arriving from Moderna’s U.S. supply chain.

“With the addition of the U.S. supply chain, there are certain regulatory and logistical considerations that are in the process of being addressed and we will be in a position to provide more specifics concerning specific shipment dates and quantities next week,” she told reporters.

Moderna has had challenges with its quality assurance process and has been working to scale-up its manufacturing capacity to meet global demand. Canada has so far received its Moderna doses, of which more than five million have been administered, from Switzerland.

Health Canada is currently reviewing the U.S. facilities where these vaccines will be coming from, Anand said.

Moderna had initially committed to sending 12.3 million doses by the end of June. That target then became at least 10.3 million, and with Wednesday’s news the total doses expected to be delivered in that timeframe will be 11.2 million.

On Monday, the company filed for authorization from Health Canada for its vaccine to be administered to those 12 and older.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only drug approved for use in Canadians under the age of 18 after Health Canada authorized its use in people 12 and older in early May.

Anand said Canada will also continue to receive 2.4 million vaccines from Pfizer each week in the month of June, before decreasing slightly to two million weekly until the end of August.

“Based on confirmed deliveries alone, Canada is set to receive at least 55 million doses by the end of July. To be clear, that is the minimum number of doses that we anticipate receiving in that timeframe,” she said, adding that her team continues to push suppliers to accelerate the arrival of doses.

The minister indicated that the federal government isn’t concerned about provinces being able to handle what may seem like an influx in doses this month from what was originally anticipated, given the number of mass vaccination sites, clinics, and pharmacies that are now offering COVID-19 shots.

To date, Canada has administered more than 27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and more than 71 per cent of the eligible population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, putting Canada first among G20 countries when it comes to the share of the population with one dose.

However, the number of fully vaccinated Canadians is still low comparatively, with 10 per cent of those eligible having recieved two shots. With the increasing focus on delivering second shots to priority populations, the number of fully vaccinated Canadians is increasing daily.

With files from CTV News’ Rachel Aiello