Moderna cuts COVID-19 vaccine deliveries as Pfizer shipments double

Apr 16 2021, 11:43 am

Federal officials announced new deals, and new delays, to Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

On Friday, Anita Anand, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, revealed that upcoming vaccine shipments from Moderna will be delayed.

Anand said the company is facing “ongoing challenges,” including labour shortages, as it attempts to ramp up production to meet the “intense” global demand for vaccines.

“As a result, our next shipment will be smaller than expected, and we may see additional delays over the coming months,” Anand said. “This news is obviously very disappointing.”

“We will continue to press Moderna and all of our other suppliers to do everything possible to respect their delivery targets and to provide more consistent delivery schedules.”

Moderna was contracted to send Canada 1.2 million vaccine doses during the week of April 19, but will instead only ship 650,000.

At the same time, Pfizer will be sending millions of additional vaccine doses to Canada over the next several months.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada has signed a new agreement with the company to secure eight million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Four million doses will be received in May, two million will come in June, and another two million will arrive in July.

As well, Pfizer will move 400,000 doses that were scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2021 up to June.

“For next month alone, this will come out to about double the Pfizer doses we were originally expecting,” Trudeau said. “All told, we’ll be receiving eight million doses in May and almost 12 million in June from Pfizer alone.”

“More doses arriving sooner means more people getting their vaccines faster.”

Trudeau added that the “bulk” of vaccines administered in Canada over the coming months will be Pfizer doses.

Anand also announced that the first shipment of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be delivered during the week of April 27.

Approximately 300,000 doses will be delivered to the provinces at the beginning of May, with “more substantial” deliveries coming throughout the next several months.

Including anticipated doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, Canada is expected to receive between 48 and 50 million doses by the end of June, Anand noted.

“Despite the temporary and short-term fluctuations in deliveries from our suppliers, Canada’s vaccination campaign overall is gaining ground,” she said.

To date, Canada has administered 9,329,231 COVID-19 vaccines. The country has reported 1,096,716 COVID-19 cases and 23,500 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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