Moderna will ship two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Canada in the first three weeks of June, but it will need to more than double that number in the second half of the month if it is to meet its delivery targets.
The federal government said Thursday it had received a delivery schedule for the first half of June, after asking the company last week for a specific schedule for June and July.
Next week Moderna will ship 500,000 doses of vaccine and in the week of June 14 it will send an additional 1.5 million, Supply Minister Anita Anand said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday. According to The Globe and Mail’s calculations, that means Moderna will need to deliver 4.6 million doses in the last two weeks of June to meet its goal of delivering 10.3 million doses between April and June.
This target has already been lowered from a previous commitment to send 12.3 million doses during this period.
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“Moderna has indicated that it will continue to increase deliveries in the second part of June, with millions of additional doses,” Ms. Anand said in a statement posted on Twitter. However, Ms Anand did not release the total number of deliveries for the second quarter.
Last week, the US company told The Globe it was “working towards meeting our vaccine delivery commitments for June.”
During a vaccine briefing Thursday, Joelle Paquette, executive director of Public Services and Procurement Canada, did not explain why Moderna only provides short-term schedules. “We are providing the information we have as it becomes available,” she said, adding that the company “is committed to delivering doses to Canada as quickly as possible. And we continue to work with them to strengthen their delivery schedule. “
Ms Paquette said Moderna has had delivery interruptions and has struggled to send larger shipments due to “certain difficulties” she faced in ramping up production.
Moderna is expected to play an important role in the country’s vaccination campaign. The federal government bought 44 million doses from the company and 48 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech. But while Pfizer has consistently and reliably shipped large shipments, Moderna’s supply has been less predictable.
Pfizer has already provided a weekly delivery schedule to the federal government for shipments through the end of July. Throughout June, the company will ship 2.4 million doses per week, and in July, it will ship nearly 2.3 million doses per week.
Moderna has never sent such large shipments, but it will need to ship shipments on a similar scale to meet its June target.
Different delivery schedules mean Pfizer is the main reason Canada has been able to speed up its vaccination campaign in the past two months, but Moderna’s shipments will be critical in the final three months of the massive vaccination effort. .
Throughout April, Ms. Anand and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeatedly said Canada would receive between 48 and 50 million doses of vaccine by the end of June. That would be enough to give everyone eligible their first shot and provide about half of those people with their second shot.
But since last week, the government has given up on this goal. The problem is not only uncertainty about how close Moderna is to meeting or exceeding its target, but also questions about how much AstraZeneca vaccine the government will receive by the end of June.
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