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Scott Moe advocating for consistent supply of vaccines, information from feds

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said the uncertainty around vaccine shipments are making it difficult to plan for its vaccine rollout strategy. Michael Bell / The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said he will be pressing for “clarity and certainty” surrounding COVID-19 vaccines during the First Ministers meeting on Thursday.

He said he is concerned because the province has no confirmation of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine shipments past the end of February. Moe said the lack of information has complicated the province’s vaccine rollout plans.

Read more: Saskatchewan government confirms 2 cases of the U.K. COVID-19 variant

“Our public health officials have been working to update our provincial vaccination plan to reflect the latest information from the federal government, and in the coming days we will be releasing our sequencing plan for when we get into wide-scale mass vaccinations,” Moe said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

“The most important component to this work is the successful procurement – and timely delivery – of vaccines. “

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After Pfizer announced it would speed up the delivery of 200 million doses to the United States, Moe is pushing the Canadian government to negotiate in similar fashion.

Read more: Coronavirus testing on the decline in Saskatchewan

“The federal government has told provinces and territories that we can expect vaccine deliveries to ramp up in the second quarter of this year,” Moe said.

“Obviously, that should happen sooner, and more vaccines should be approved and more vaccines should be delivered.”

Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada said Moderna would only be shipping approximately 78 per cent of Canada’s expected allotment of its COVID-19 vaccine during the first week of February.

Canada will receive 180,000 doses in the first week of February, instead of 230,400.

Read more: Saskatchewan no longer holding back coronavirus vaccine doses

In a document obtained by Global News, PHAC said the week of Feb. 22 “will also be impacted.”

“But Moderna cannot confirm allocations for that week yet,” the document, signed by Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin — who has been tasked with vaccine rollout logistics — reads.

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In a statement emailed to Global News, Eric Morrissette, a spokesperson for Health Canada, said the agency still expects to receive two million doses of the Moderna vaccine “by the end of March.”

Moe said the uncertainty around vaccine shipments are making it “extremely” difficult to plan for its vaccine rollout strategy.

–With files from Hannah Jackson.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan no longer holding back coronavirus vaccine doses' Saskatchewan no longer holding back coronavirus vaccine doses
Saskatchewan no longer holding back coronavirus vaccine doses – Jan 6, 2021

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