Moderna to ship 1.3M doses in March to meet pledge: Anand

OTTAWA — While the specific shipment details have yet to be released for next month’s Moderna COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday that Canada will be sent 1.3 million doses in March in order for the pharmaceutical giant to meet its first quarter delivery commitment to this country.

After sending Canada smaller shipments over the last few deliveries, in order to fulfill the commitment to provide a total of two million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March, the federal government is expecting more than half of those shots to arrive next month.

“On our calculations, after Feb. 22 there are potentially two more shipments prior to the end of March,” Anand told reporters. “We are seeking a breakdown of the 1.3 million number from Moderna as we speak.”

Moderna typically delivers its doses to Canada every three weeks, and whether they come over two shipments closer together or all in one, the amount of this vaccine landing in Canada next month will be the most to-date. It’s a rate the federal government anticipates will become the new normal, with 23 million Pfizer and Moderna shots planned to be delivered between April and June.

“Months ago, we promised a total of six million doses from all candidates before end of March, that’s exactly what we are going to deliver. The ramp-up phase in April will feature many more millions of doses,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press conference on Tuesday morning.

With much larger shipments now anticipated going forward, eyes are on the provinces to be able to administer these doses to the awaiting priority groups, which have begun to expand in some regions.

“We need the vaccines so we can get them in the arms of Canadians and focus on our economic wellbeing,” said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, responding to a question about NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s proposal to bring in the military to help accelerate the administration of doses in the coming weeks. 

More coming. 

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