Largest Moderna shipment to date arrives at Milton, Ont. depot

Almost 2.9 million doses of Moderna arrived at a depot in Milton, Ont. on Wednesday and more is on the way.

“It will be a total of 8.4 million [doses] between now and next week and that will lead to Moderna exceeding its contractual commitments to Canada bringing more than 12.5 [million] doses,” said Patricia Gauthier, the Canadian General Manager of Moderna Canada.

The arrival marks the first shipment of Moderna coming from a U.S.-based facility, which now gives Canada an additional source of vaccine supply.

The doses left the American facility on Tuesday night and were driven across the border earlier this morning, Gauthier said.

Once the vaccine enters Canada, FedEx and Innomar Strategies handle the logistics.

“It has to go through customs,” said Guy Payette, President of Innomar Strategies.

“And we track it. It’s very important that we track it from a GPS perspective, so we know - along the journey - where it’s been.”

The doses are put into freezers where a quality check is done, Payette said. From there, they’re securely packaged for a quick turnaround.

“We’ve been getting the vaccine out within 28 and 48 hours to the rest of the country,” he added.

Some of the doses could be shipped out as early as tonight “and the remainders will go out over the next day,” Payette said.

Moderna will then be distributed across Canada, with Ontario forecasted to receive the largest share.

“The provinces will be distributing it to the different vaccine centres, the pharmacies, depending on their vaccination program,” Gauthier said.

According to Payette, some of doses could find themselves into the arms of Canadians as early as Friday.