(Reuters) – Moderna Inc has delayed the shipment of 590,400 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine due to arrive in Canada this weekend, the federal purchasing minister said on Thursday.
Moderna informed Canadian officials the delay was due to a “backlog in its quality assurance process,” Anita Anand said, adding that the company had assured the remaining doses would be shipped no later than Thursday next week.
Canada was due to receive 846,000 doses of Moderna this week, of which 255,600 were delivered on Wednesday, a government source told Reuters.
“Once Moderna’s final quality assurance process is complete, the doses will be released for shipment.”
Anand said the US drug maker had given assurances the problem was a “minor hiccup” and would not affect the shipment of 855,600 doses set for the week of April 5.
Canada has received 5.9 million doses of the vaccine so far and expects to receive 3.2 million next week, including from Pfizer Inc, US AstraZeneca Plc and the postponed Moderna shipment .
The country faces a potential third wave of infections as the more transmissible variant of the B.1.1.7 virus first discovered in the UK is causing outbreaks in some hot spots.
It currently had 38,922 active cases and had reported 5,202 new cases as of March 25. (Bit.ly/3tPN81C)