“Moderna tells us that the doses will be shipped to Canada no later than Thursday of next week. The supplier has also informed us that this backlog is temporary ”
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OTTAWA – The planned shipment of 846,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to Canada this week will be insufficient.
The government was awaiting shipment this week as part of the company’s commitment to deliver two million doses of the vaccine in the first quarter. Earlier this week, the company delivered part of that shipment – 255,600 doses – and was due to complete the shipment on Saturday, but that will now be postponed until next week.
In a statement, Purchasing Minister Anita Anand confirmed that Moderna announced the bad news on Thursday afternoon.
“I spoke with executives at Moderna who informed us that due to a backlog in its quality assurance process, the 590,400 doses due to arrive in Canada this weekend have been delayed by a few days.” , she said.
Anand said the vaccines have been manufactured, but the quality assurance work must be completed before the shipment is sent.
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“Moderna tells us that the doses will be shipped to Canada no later than Thursday of next week. The supplier has also informed us that this backlog is temporary and will not affect the next scheduled delivery, ”Anand said.
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Moderna was to deliver two million doses of its vaccine by March 31. Anand said the delayed doses combined with the shipment from Pfizer and the newly acquired doses from AstraZeneca would mean Canada will have 3.2 million doses next week.
Anand said Moderna assured him the problem was a minor hiccup that will not affect the next shipment of 855,600 doses set for the week of April 5.
Moderna and Pfizer, which are currently the backbone of Canada’s immunization effort, are both made in Europe. The European Union has threatened export restrictions on vaccine shipments, as countries in that region have struggled with their vaccination efforts.
Both Anand and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have said they have been assured by European officials that Canada is not the bloc’s target with export restrictions.
EU officials mainly complained about AstraZeneca, which missed supply targets for European countries but manufactured millions of doses in Britain. The UK is one of the world’s leading countries in vaccine deployment.
Speaking on the background, government officials said they were confident Moderna’s delay was unrelated to these export restrictions.
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